"Trader Joe's is popular because of unique specialty items and imported goods that are here one week and gone the next,' says Burt Flickenger of Strategic Resource Group. But that's in southern California, where he says the national chains have neglected the market by raising prices.
Head east, and it's a slightly different story. "Because of the inconsistency of distribution, the Trader Joe's stores do not do as much volume as out west. In California, it could sell as much as Wegmans in half of the selling space," notes Flickenger.
Flickenger says the neglect by chains out west won't be spotted here, which is why it will be tough for Trader Joe's to gain a foothold against the likes of Tops, Wegmans, and Budwey's. For Trader Joe's to succeed, it must keep prices low and quality high.