Trader Joe’s Moves in on Fairway’s Turf
By Tom Ryan
Many gourmet grocers feel pressure when a Trader Joe’s opens nearby
and Fairway Market, a Manhattan institution on the Upper West Side, is no exception.
Trader Joe’s opened two blocks south at 72nd and Broadway on September 20,
sales at Fairway have gone south.
"It had an impact," Howard Glickberg, chief executive of the seven-unit,
family-run chain, told Crain’s NY. "We saw a little downturn in
a few departments, but we aren’t changing anything about the way we operate."
in 1940 by his grandfather, the store is characterized by floor-to-ceiling
produce displays. While earning a reputation for reasonable prices, its exotic
assortment has also made it a favorite with foodies. A store that opened earlier
this month in Stamford, CT features more than 600 cheeses, 90 coffees roasted
in-house, more than 70 types of olives, more than 100 varieties of olive oils,
and an in-house kosher bakery, according to The Daily Stamford. The
spice aisle has almost 250 spices under the Fairway brand name.
A Yelp review
gives the 74th St. location four stars out of five. The main complaints were
the crowds and narrow aisles.
A price comparison by DNAinfo.com found
that a bag of grocery staples costs $51.08 at Trader Joe’s 72nd. St. store
versus $58.47 at Fairway’s 74th St. store. A similar package at the Whole Foods’
store at Columbus Avenue and West 97th St., which opened last year, was priced
at $68.89. Other specialty grocers in the area are Zabar’s and Citerella.
of the opening indicated that shoppers would still have to go to Fairway for
its wider assortments and Fairway was given higher ratings for fresh produce
and perishable products.
In a review on Yelp, Amy. L. said Trader’s Joe’s "can
give Fairway a run for the money," especially on frozen and prepackaged
meals. But prices on items like cheese, meat and produce are close and the
quality and selection at Fairway is better.
"Yes, this place is crowded," she wrote. "Yes, the aisles
are tiny and clog up with oblivious entitled Upper West Siders on their cellphones.
Yes, the checkout lines are long. Yes, the harmless-looking old ladies will
ram you with their shopping carts with no provocation. But without Fairway, there’s
no way I could afford to eat as well as I eat."
But in a Yelp review
of the new Trader Joe’s store, Christine M. raved about being able find to
her Trader Joe’s "favorites" along with
an organized layout, friendly employees and speedy checkout. She concluded, "I
don’t think I’ll step foot in Fairway ever again!"
Discussion Questions: What type of competitive pressures does Trader Joe’s
place on local gourmet retailers? What changes may Fairway and others
have to explore when a Trader Joe’s opens nearby?
- Trader Joe’s eats Fairway’s lunch on UWS – Crain’s NY
- Trader Joe’s Invades the Land of Zabar’s – New York Magazine
- Food Market Opens With Fanfare – The Daily Stamford
- Trader Joe’s Wins the Price War Against Fairway and Whole Foods – dnainfo.com
- Trader Joe’s 72nd Street Review – Yelp
- Fairway Market 74th Street Review – Yelp