Grocer Trader Joe's coming to Austin

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by JADE MINGUS / KVUE NEWS and photojournalist SCOTT MCKENNEY

Bio | Email | Follow: @JadeM_KVUE

kvue.com

Posted on April 18, 2012 at 5:14 PM

Updated Thursday, Apr 19 at 9:15 AM

AUSTIN -- Specialty grocery store Trader Joe's is coming to Austin.

The store will be located downtown and will be part of the proposed mixed-use project at the former Seaholm Power Plant opening next year.

Trader Joe's boasts that it offers low-priced, high quality, specialty products ranging from organic coffee to meats and cheeses.

"I think it's exciting. I think there is a big need for that, and I think it will be a big hot spot in Austin," said Steiner Ranch resident Tracy Johnson. She said she would be willing to drive downtown to shop at the new store.

Trader Joe's will build an 11,500-square-foot store near Lamar Boulevard, just a few blocks from Whole Foods' flagship store and international headquarters. That Whole Foods store is 80,000 square feet.

Austin's Trader Joe's is set to open next year. Trader Joe's declined to say how many jobs the new store would create.

A University of Texas professor at the McCombs School of Business, Dr. Wayne Hoyer, said HEB could give Trader Joe's more competition than Whole Foods. Hoyer said both HEB and Trader Joe's offer their own store brands at low prices.

He said Trader Joe's will improve grocery shopping for customers who benefit from competition.

"Competition always helps; the consumers always win," said Hoyer.

The Seaholm project will also offer apartments, retail, office space, and an outdoor event space.

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