Flagstaff still courting Trader Joe's

2010-12-06T05:00:00Z Flagstaff still courting Trader Joe'sJOE FERGUSON Sun Staff Reporter Arizona Daily Sun
December 06, 2010 5:00 am  • 

Flagstaff city officials are continuing to make progress in their bid to bring niche grocer Trader Joe's to Flagstaff.

City Manager Kevin Burke recently stated that the city has been in regular contact with the Monrovia, Calif.-based grocer since meeting with company officials roughly six months ago at a Las Vegas trade show.

The biggest arsenal in the city's bag of incentives continues to be an economic report showing millions of dollars tied to grocery sales are being spent outside of Flagstaff. Officials are convinced a large chunk of that is related to local residents shopping at Trader Joe's in the Valley.

"The report certainly got some folks' attention," said Economic Vitality Director Stacey Button.

The city has since followed up with another economic report outlining general spending habits for four types of Flagstaff shoppers: permanent residents, second homeowners, students and tourists.

"The interest in other grocers (not in Flagstaff) is definitely there," Button said.

Button said the city has contacted other grocers currently not in Flagstaff but did not provide specific names.

In light of the city's tight finances, no financial incentives are being extended to any grocer, Button confirmed.

The city has an economic incentive fund to bring new businesses to Flagstaff, but it has never been used to bring a retailer here.

Button cautioned it would be years before Trader Joe's might open a store in Flagstaff.

She said company officials told her that they are looking to take advantage of low commercial real estate prices in California before expanding in Arizona.

"They are very interested in Flagstaff but they have other priorities at the moment," she said.

Trader Joe's had reportedly planned to open a store in the Prescott area before coming to Flagstaff, but several of the possible sites identified by the grocer did not pan out.

She emphasized the grocer is in the pre-planning stages and was not looking at any Flagstaff properties at the moment.

A spokesperson for Trader Joe's, Alison Mochizuki, said earlier this year that neither Prescott nor Flagstaff was in the grocer's two-year plan for opening a new location.

Joe Ferguson can be reached at jferguson@azdailysun.com or 556-2253.

Copyright 2015 Arizona Daily Sun. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(29) Comments

  1. MOTZFF
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    MOTZFF - December 15, 2010 3:54 pm
    Hey, Trader Joes may be the straw that would get me up from Kingman to shop there and some of the other merchants we dont have in our area.
  2. The Cook
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    The Cook - December 11, 2010 10:44 am
    Why is our city government wasting time and money on trying to get a store like Trader Joes? If they want to bring another box store, how about a Cabelas, or a Bass Pro Shop, Ski Pro? I think we could use another gun store, preferably one that sells guns cheaper. Maybe we can turn one of our Basha's into an AJ's Fine Foods? OR, maybe the city gov't can make better use of our tax dollars and work on making Flagstaff a place where businesses want to come with out being courted. Just an idea!
  3. Scott111
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    Scott111 - December 11, 2010 8:08 am
    The job of City staff should be to provide basic services, not recruit one specific retailer. The city should have meeting space available for any group that wants to "go after" TJ or whoever. Let a volunteer committee meet, send letters, whatever. But paid staff should not be doing so just because a vocal group "loves" TJ. Let that vocal group do it.
  4. Judy__
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    Judy__ - December 08, 2010 3:12 pm
    @Flaglifer: "Can anyone direct me to a locally owned and operated mom and pop grocery store here in Flagstaff?"

    In the summer one can shop at the Sunday morning and Wednesday evening Farmer's street markets to buy mostly locally grown products. And then there is the Village Baker for yummy breads.
  5. Judy__
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    Judy__ - December 08, 2010 12:11 pm
    I used to live near a Trader Joe's and do not see why people make such a fuss about their products. Most of them are just hype if you read the fine print on the labels. I'd rather have a CostCo in town... they have a much better grade of merchandise than other big box types in the area. That new WalMart, for example, was a walk in and walk out for me -- mostly over-priced junk items. I bought little and will not return. I'll be surprised if they stay open very long.
  6. Dawaen
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    Dawaen - December 08, 2010 7:05 am
    Although I think Trader Joe's is terrific and hope they come to Flagstaff someday, I'd prefer to see our local government focus instead on something more useful, like an adequate snow removal plan in the winter.
  7. Practical
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    Practical - December 08, 2010 5:36 am
    Flaghigh76 - the government hasn't had any credibility in a really, really long-time! Wikileaks did not provide any new information, they only verified what we already knew.

    Like Craig said, read the entire article people, Trader Joe's has no plan to come to Flagstaff or Prescott in the next 2 years.


  8. Maunawili
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    Maunawili - December 08, 2010 5:35 am
    @Flaglifer: "Can anyone direct me to a locally owned and operated mom and pop grocery store here in Flagstaff?"

    Sure! Farmer's Market and Mexico Lindo, both on 4th Street. Good stuff and great prices. There may be more, but those are two that I'm aware of and I do shop at both of them.
  9. jehosephats
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    jehosephats - December 07, 2010 8:17 pm
    Flaglifer...go check out the Farmers Mkt on 4th street. Awesome couple have owned and operated that store for years. Across the street there are two sweet little stores that cater to Hispanic folks with equally sweet, honest hard working owners. Then there is always Pay n Take on Aspen. Few groceries but great selection of brews...I think is locally owned too. Awesome places are here if peeps just get their head out and go local. Public,if I missed anybody please jump in and enlighten Flaglifer.
  10. DylanBuchanan
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    DylanBuchanan - December 07, 2010 2:20 pm
    How much can I donate to the new green energy plant?! This sounds like an excellent plan. We could put Navajo generating station out of buisness! I was just in Moab, UT the United States first "Green energy community" and if we could do something similar in Flagstaff it would be phenominal.
  11. iamazomB
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    iamazomB - December 07, 2010 11:54 am
    local mom and pop grocery stores? i didnt know flagstaff had any. im surprised that we didnt already have a trader joe's due to flagstaffs demographic that is attracted to that store. i think its a great thing, give us some variety and choice on the fppd we buy, i wouldnt mind eating some higher quality food for a change
  12. Flaglifer
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    Flaglifer - December 07, 2010 11:13 am
    Can anyone direct me to a locally owned and operated mom and pop grocery store here in Flagstaff?
  13. Ann Marie
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    Ann Marie - December 07, 2010 9:13 am
    The green energy plant could be located in town, 829 Butler, the Jeld Wen building. People can take the bus to work. 829 already looks like a green energy plant. We can create biomass energy from small wood products, and put the energy back into the grid. We use reclaimed water, and green technology. We need grants and 50 year forest restoration contacts. APS may have biomass equipment in storage near Winslow. ECoNA?? Where are you? Restore the forest, negate the fires, save the animals!
  14. Ann Marie
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    Ann Marie - December 07, 2010 8:49 am
    That would be ECoNA.
  15. Ann Marie
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    Ann Marie - December 07, 2010 8:47 am
    And so our city still beleives that Flagstaff wants to bring casual sophistication and urban lifestyle to a higher elevation. Get a grip. People are out of work. ENCoNA.. think about a green energy plant. Providing hundreds of jobs, restoring our forest, negating our fires and saving the animals.

  16. craig
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    craig - December 07, 2010 12:49 am
    Did any of you read the article???? It says that trader joes has NO PLANS in the next 2 years to come to Flagstaff.

    What on earth are you getting excited about?
  17. flagstaffhillbilly
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    flagstaffhillbilly - December 06, 2010 5:30 pm
    Is this they grocery store they want to put on they corner in residential neighborhoods per they new land development code? Does they have stock in Trader Joe's?
  18. YURWrong
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    YURWrong - December 06, 2010 3:44 pm
    Ringokid said: "Even if we get a Trader Joe’s in Flagstaff I will still shop at the Phoenix store due to Flagstaff’s high tax rate. "

    You don't pay sales tax on food from grocery stores, not even on a case of soda. The BBB Tax is for prepared, ready to eat food. So driving to Phoenix would save you nothing in sales tax on the food portion of your bill. Hence the wal-mart will do little to increase sales tax revenue for the city.
  19. banders1
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    banders1 - December 06, 2010 3:14 pm
    Ringokid said: "Even if we get a Trader Joe’s in Flagstaff I will still shop at the Phoenix store due to Flagstaff’s high tax rate. "

    You guys do know that food isn't taxable right? And if you compare sales tax rates - with the exception of Scottsdale, most towns in the valley - including Phoenix have a very similar tax rate to Flagstaff. I know we want to rag on on the "libs" in the city of Flagstaff. but let's be fair.

  20. Chris Lincoln
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    Chris Lincoln - December 06, 2010 1:16 pm
    This is what our city and City Council are spending time on!! Really?? Could we spend our time discussing sustainable industry like a wind farm, solar collection areas, sustainable agriculture? Please? Could we talk about some big issues instead of the typical trivial nonsense that got us into this mess in the first place. Please? Where are those progressive voices I voted for on the Council. Mr. Babbott?, Ms. Barotz? Mr. White? Ms. Brewster? Where are you?
  21. Phil McCracken
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    Phil McCracken - December 06, 2010 1:04 pm


    Ringokid said: "Even if we get a Trader Joe’s in Flagstaff I will still shop at the Phoenix store due to Flagstaff’s high tax rate. "

    Good Point! Even more savings when you go to PHX to TJ's......
  22. Ringokid
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    Ringokid - December 06, 2010 10:32 am
    Even if we get a Trader Joe’s in Flagstaff I will still shop at the Phoenix store due to Flagstaff’s high tax rate.
  23. SurrealGal
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    SurrealGal - December 06, 2010 9:08 am
    Our family makes "Trader Joe's runs" whenever we're in the Valley. Why? Because this reputable company has food that is natural, organic, free of artificial dyes, affordable (I didn't say cheap - but affordable) and delicious. Right now there is one store in town that offers similar products, but the prices are through the roof. I like the idea of good food for everyone at a reasonable price. It's wise to bring choices that allow Americans to vote for healthy food with their dollars.
  24. FlagHigh76
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    FlagHigh76 - December 06, 2010 9:04 am
    It is absolutely stunning to see the extent of crony capitalism at all levels of government,whereby government resources are expended on preferential treatment toward specific economic interests. What possible justification is there for a local government to solicit a specific grocery store? Does anyone in the Flagstaff government appreciate the explosive ramifications of the wikileak disclosures and the extent to which it is destroying any credibility in government?
  25. stephen knutson
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    stephen knutson - December 06, 2010 8:28 am
    Oh goody, let's all go shopping and then everything will be great. We can eat ourselves into a catatonic state so who needs drugs? We'll go shopping and then eat and then watch television and wow what a wonderful world we live in. Isn't American the greatest place on earth to worship the cargo cult we have been conditioned to believe in? Environment? Who cares? Shopping is what counts it keeps the economy going and it's fun to impress my friends with the cool stuff I bought at bargain prices.
  26. Nonfictionally
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    Nonfictionally - December 06, 2010 8:22 am
    Squeaky Puppet Voice: We want cool stores like other cities! Cheap stuff, cheap stuff!
    Harsh Growly Voice: Die Squeaky Puppet Voice! Chain stores are the DEVIL! Killers of moms&pops and carriers of LOW WAGES! PHX FLG? Never!! Sick-em City Council! City Council Voice: Bark, bark! Grr Walmart,snap,snap,Lowes!Jump 20ft tall zoning restrictions hoops made just for you! Meanwhile, back at the secret chamber: C'mere Trader J's, we won't hurt you, that's a good store,(he he he!). HGV and SqPV: Baroo??
  27. Scott111
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    Scott111 - December 06, 2010 8:01 am
    Won't bringing in another big chain hurt the local mom and pop groceries? At least that's what Flagstaff screamed the last time. I guess I'm confused - some chains are good, right? There should be some list to tell me which ones. FYI Joe's has 351 stores in 27 states.
  28. cmoscatello
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    cmoscatello - December 06, 2010 6:05 am
    Yea!!! I know lots of folks, including myself, who have gone to the Trader Joe's website and requested a store over and over again.
    They would also get the business from the medical staff and teachers who are up in Tuba.
  29. really
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    really - December 06, 2010 5:14 am
    Alot of people make the drive to Phoenix to go to Trader Joe's and other type stores...It would be awesome to have one in Flag & save alot of gas money!!! I can hardly wait!!!
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