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Trader Joe's - I don't get it

Trader Joe's - I don't get it
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  • Post #271 - February 6th, 2021, 7:27 pm
    Post #271 - February 6th, 2021, 7:27 pm Post #271 - February 6th, 2021, 7:27 pm
    I got to our TJ's about once a week, and it's always been as great and safe an experience as I'd like. Interestingly, I did find myself in a different Trader Joe's a few weeks back, and while equally cautious their safety precautions were still somewhat different than those at our local store. (For example: everyone checking out lined up snaking through the store, and when you reached the end they directed you to registers as they opened up, rather than have people line up, social distanced, in individual lanes, as they do at our local store). So I asked, and learned that apparently each store gets to set their own safety rules, at least to some extent, since I assume there must be some consistent requirements they all adhere to.

    Anyway, I have not once been to TJ's this past year (!) and felt it teetering on the brink of chaos, as it's sometimes felt at more conventional supermarkets I've been to. So points for that, and if it means standing outside for five minutes, so be it. It beats the alternative.
  • Post #272 - February 6th, 2021, 7:43 pm
    Post #272 - February 6th, 2021, 7:43 pm Post #272 - February 6th, 2021, 7:43 pm
    Choosing to arrive during the last 15 minutes of senior hour usually will get you there during the quietest time of all. Usually NO waiting in line outside at all. There are also fewer people remaining inside from the early senior hour and if you are purposeful in your shopping you may be out of there before senior hour ends.
  • Post #273 - February 7th, 2021, 6:56 am
    Post #273 - February 7th, 2021, 6:56 am Post #273 - February 7th, 2021, 6:56 am
    I don't know, it probably has as much to do with the customer demographics of my nearest TJ's in Wheaton, but a recent trip there was the most fraught shop I've had since the beginning of the pandemic (well there was that anti-masker berating fellow shoppers at ALDI over the summer.) But the frozen aisle at TJ's was sardine-canned, the only shopping experience of the past 11 months when my body made contact with a stranger's. People just not paying any attention to the physical space of others. Not okay (even in non-pandemic times.) I had a slightly less harrowing, but similar experience at my one trip last year to Wheaton Whole Foods.

    To Wheaton TJ's credit – the door was staffed with someone sanitizing carts and the check-out protocol was spaced out as mentioned above. It sure didn't seem like the count of guests was being regulated though.

    TJ's isn't essential enough for us to take that risk. There's a handful of snacks we love – the sea salt and turbinado sugar dark chocolate almonds & the Thai lime and chili cashews and their Le Delice De Bourgogne is a favorite cheese bargain. Those are all indulgences though. Otherwise, canned tuna and kosher dills are probably the only staples that we seek out there. Oh and the gyoza a'int too bad.
  • Post #274 - February 7th, 2021, 8:51 am
    Post #274 - February 7th, 2021, 8:51 am Post #274 - February 7th, 2021, 8:51 am
    The stores that I have been the most apprehensive about being in since the pandemic started were Walmart and Sam's Club. I had to go to Walmart last June to pick up some potting soil because everybody else was out of the kind that I like. I am not crazy about Walmart, and back then they were limiting the number of people in the store, but the first time I went there, the store was closed, and I found out they closed at 5:00 because of all of the unrest here. When I finally made it into Walmart a few days later, they were limiting the number of people in the store, but I still felt uncomfortable because people were not social distancing. I have not been to Walmart since the end of June. I get all of my prescriptions at Sams Club, and so I am forced to go there. Every time I go there, I see all kinds of people who are not wearing their mask correctly, and I try to limit the amount of time I spend in the store. I don't have that experience with the Evanston Trader Joe's though. They are currently the only store limiting the number of people in their store.

    I have found with Jewel when I go late in the evening the crowds are really small, and you are mostly just dealing with the night crew. Whole Foods unfortunately is only open until 9:00, and so it is harder to avoid large crowds, and yes they do have arrows on the aisles, but a lot of people don't follow them.
  • Post #275 - February 7th, 2021, 9:52 am
    Post #275 - February 7th, 2021, 9:52 am Post #275 - February 7th, 2021, 9:52 am
    At the 3 Trader Joe’s I have shopped at I have even seen customers regulate themselves outside. It’s a one person out, one person in system. One cart cleaner/door watcher/people counter started to give a nod to a very elderly couple waiting in the cold together and they shook their head “no” and gestured to the single person waiting in line behind them to go ahead of them. That person smiled, shook their head too and waited for a second person to exit so the very elderly couple could enter to shop together. That is the kind of thoughtfulness I see at Trader Joe’s.
    I assume the person at the door would have evened the count before allowing the next person it.
  • Post #276 - February 7th, 2021, 12:08 pm
    Post #276 - February 7th, 2021, 12:08 pm Post #276 - February 7th, 2021, 12:08 pm
    The staff at our Trader Joe's (Oak Park) was handing out water bottles to those in line last summer.

    It's kind of amazing how much behavior can vary from village to village, town to town, city to city, store to store.
  • Post #277 - February 7th, 2021, 5:08 pm
    Post #277 - February 7th, 2021, 5:08 pm Post #277 - February 7th, 2021, 5:08 pm
    I simply refused to go to Traders Joe last summer. I was not willing to stand in the sun with no protection.

    This winter has been no problem, because there is no line.

    For those of you who don't consider this theater, I'm thrilled that you have a place to go. I can get by very easily without this store. I don't understand how Traders Joe represents less of a problem to you in shopping than Jewel.
  • Post #278 - February 7th, 2021, 6:44 pm
    Post #278 - February 7th, 2021, 6:44 pm Post #278 - February 7th, 2021, 6:44 pm
    I stood in line at the Evanston Farmer's Market most weeks when I bought something from Nichol's. It was worth it for me because I really like their stuff. I did not buy from them every week though. I am not as big of a Trader Joe's fan here as some people are. I think I have been there three times since the pandemic started. I mostly go to Jewel and Whole Foods and the farmers market, but I mostly go to Jewel after 8:00 in the evening when I mostly only have to deal with the night crew. I did go to Jewel and Whole Foods on New Years Eve, and I was not sure how late the store was going to be open, and so I went there at 5:00, and it was definitely busier at both stores than I would have liked. Out of the three times I went to Trader Joe's, I only had to wait in line very long in the beginning of the pandemic when everybody was hoarding. I would rather wait in line for a few minutes, than have to deal with tons of people at Jewel or Sam's Club or Walmart.

    The Evanston Jewel on Chicago Avenue was limiting people in the store last Spring. I went to Jewel one Saturday afternoon in April, and never again. After the COVID cases got better during the summer they quit limiting the number of people in the store, and then when the cases went up again, nobody but Trader Joe's limited the number of people in the store. Back in May and June, Aldi's, Walmart, and Sam's Club were also limiting the number of people in the store.
  • Post #279 - February 7th, 2021, 11:47 pm
    Post #279 - February 7th, 2021, 11:47 pm Post #279 - February 7th, 2021, 11:47 pm
    Somewhat off topic, but following others' lead: I believe the greatest danger is being near the same person for an extended period of time. So, I'm less worried about quickly passing someone in an aisle than I am about standing in a line, whether to enter a store or at a checkout.

    I was also dismayed when Walmart and Target had only one entrance open as that lead to more time spent traipsing through the store to get to the specific area of interest. Particularly at our local Target where the door in use was the one furthest from the service desk, essential to returning items from online orders. Yup, I know they said it was a necessary move for counting customers. Hard to believe that companies that spend billions on technology couldn't implement systems to add and subtract two numbers.
  • Post #280 - February 8th, 2021, 11:24 am
    Post #280 - February 8th, 2021, 11:24 am Post #280 - February 8th, 2021, 11:24 am
    Over at the Kosher Jewel on Howard in Evanston, they were open 24 hours before the pandemic, and I assume they have gone back to that They have two entrances at that store, but one of them is always kept locked over night. I think so they only have to keep track of one entrance. Only having one entrance open helps them keep track of who is not wearing a mask.

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