Carrie Rengers

So when will Trader Joe’s open, and is there a chance for a west-side one?

In April, Have You Heard? reported that the much-requested Trader Joe’s is “taking the necessary steps” to bring one of its stores to Bradley Fair at 21st and Rock Road.

Now, the company confirms it.

“We are coming,” says Kenya Friend-Daniel, public relations director for the California company.

“Our plan is to open a store before the end of the year,” she says. “That’s the best timeline I can give you right now.”

From what it sounds like, the opening could be closer to the start of the fall holiday season than the end of it.

The 14,000-square-foot space, which will have more than 10,000 square feet devoted to retail, will be in the one-time Fresh Market space on the south end of the center.

“We put a lot of work and time and thought into where we put our locations,” Friend-Daniel says.

“It was the right time.”

Trader Joe’s, which has almost 500 stores nationally, is one of the most sought-after stores for Wichita.

For anyone who hasn’t been to one, Friend-Daniel describes it as “a shopping experience.”

“Definitely a memorable customer experience,” she says. “That’s what we aim to provide.”

She says there are “quality, unique” products “as well as everyday products for a great price.”

The company’s Two Buck Chuck wine is universally popular — and would not immediately be available here due to Kansas liquor laws — but other must-have items vary from person to person.

That includes chocolate bars, cherry juice, coconut oil packets for traveling, fancy cocktail cherries, cranberry orange biscotti, triple ginger cookies, Marcona almonds with rosemary, “crack” cheddar cheese and Kalamata olive oil among many other things.

Friend-Daniel says Trader Joe’s does not have sales or coupons.

“Our goal is to offer our customers a great price on every product every day, not just a one-time thing.”

Friend-Daniel says Trader Joe’s wants to “just offer that great neighborhood experience.”

“We love for them to be part of the neighborhood,” she says. “We’re just excited to bring a store to that location.”

The company is hiring on its website at traderjoes.com/careers.

The store will be in business seven days a week. Trader Joe’s stores generally open between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. and close between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m.

The most important question, of course, in this east-west town is whether Trader Joe’s will open on the west side if the Bradley Fair store does well.

“We definitely open where there’s a need and where we’re wanted,” Friend-Daniel says. “I’m sure all that will be taken into consideration once the store opens.”

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Carrie Rengers has been a reporter for almost three decades, including 16 years at The Wichita Eagle. Her Have You Heard? column of business scoops runs five days a week in The Eagle. If you have a tip, please e-mail or tweet her or call 316-268-6340.
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