Upper West Side: Will Trader Joe’s Knock Fairway Off the Map?

Trader Joe’s is planning an Upper West Side outpost on Broadway at 72nd.  Here’s NY Magazine’s report:

With locations on 14th Street, Cobble Hill, and Rego Park, [Trader Joe’s] will now open a two-level store in a tower under construction at Broadway and 72nd Street next year, according to a proposal submitted to the local community board. It’s a foodie neighborhood, with Fairway and Citarella two blocks north and Zabar’s on West 80th Street. “Nobody wants to have a bunch of competition, and obviously the same people would shop there as shop with us,” says Steve Jenkins, Fairway’s manager. “But we’ve taken competition before, and we’ve kicked their butts.” Trader Joe’s declined to comment.

With outposts in Queens and on 14th St, Trader Joe’s is clearly seeking beachheads in the various boroughs.  It’s great that the popular store will be servicing the Upper West Side.  Still, despite Jenkins’ intention to fight until the last piece of Fairway cheese has curdled and died,  I worry about the fate of this iconic Upper West Side grocer.

Clearly, Fairway is already feeling the hot breath of  competition from the new guys in the ‘hood.  Over the last few months, the grocer has mailed out coupons to Upper West Side households.  That’s a sure sign the market is feeling the heat, which is only going to intensify with the planned TJ’s opening only two blocks away and with the opening of the new Whole Foods at 98th and Columbus some time in 2009.

After years of Soviet-style deprivation, it’s great to have a plethora of food stores to choose from.  However, I hope the new guys don’t knock Fairway off the block.


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6 thoughts on “Upper West Side: Will Trader Joe’s Knock Fairway Off the Map?

  1. Itzik

    Fairway will do fine. Their prices are not as competitive as they used to be (their avocados never go below $2 ea., even when they were 4 for $5 at Westside Market) but they still have a great selection of goods for reasonable prices and they are open late. Trader Joes is an amazing store that I can’t wait to have in the hood but it won’t have nearly the same variety of produce or organic food. I just wish TJ’s had gone to the 80s or 90s–there are a lot of places on Broadway in the 70s but the 90s have been ceded to Barzini’s, which could use some competition.

  2. Laura Weiss Post author

    I agree, it would be great to have better stores in the 80s and 90s. Whole Foods when it opens will help the problem a bit.

  3. Miriam

    There is no comparison between Trader Joe’s and Fairway, and for that matter Whole Foods. Trader Joe’s is not known for its produce. Unless, you’re interested in prepackaged produce, one doesn’t buy fruit and vegetables at Trader Joe’s. Fairway is not that great either but it’s better than your average supermarket for produce. I live around the corner from the West Side Market on 110th St and have always complained about everything in there except their slightly better than average prices on produce. Whole Foods, Whole Paycheck is not for your average consumer. The prices are outrageous at Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s will be a threat to the Columbus Circle store.

    For produce and if you own a car, you’re better off joining the Park Slope Food Coop or the Bronx Food Coop if you live on the upper west side.

    Trader Joe’s is great for wholesome prepared foods, bread, nuts, sweets, dairy products and a many other items. I am always searching for TJs when I go to other parts of the country.

  4. Gris

    Fairway is so crowded now at almost any hour that I will welcome Trader Joe’s if for no other reason that to help make it easier to navigate at Fairway.

  5. Pingback: Food and Things » Food Shoppers Flock to Dollar Stores in NY and Elsewhere

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