Dear PoPville – Why Does the New Trader Joe’s Open at 9am and not 8am Like all the other Locations?

1916 14th Street, NW

“Dear PoPville,

Why does the Trader Joe’s on 14th Street open at 9AM instead of 8AM? There are so many people who live near by who could stop by on the way to work for fruit, prepared lunch items, etc.

A review of their website shows that every other Trader Joe’s in the Washington, DC area opens at 8AM.

I had hoped these hours might be temporary, however the sign on the window seems pretty permanent.”

44 Comment

  • Aw fiddlesticks! That stinks!

  • I do remember waiting until 10 AM to by alcohol there.

    • If you were waiting at 10 am because you were partying all night and needed a refresher, then you are my new hero.

      • Sadly no. I try to boot up on all my food and wine before it becomes a clusterfu!@ in there. I then spend my whole day partying. It is a vicious cycle.

  • Its open an hour later than the rest too (10 pm vs 9).

  • Why does the new Trader Joe’s not stock the Frozen Mini Tacos that POP keeps referencing??? I stopped by on Monday and the manager looked at me like I was Steve Buscemi when I asked where they were hiding ’em.

    • Prince Of Petworth

      I asked them about that last time I went, I’m not kidding, they said something about a nationwide shortage. Too strange.

    • TJ’s discontinues items regularly (probably when their supplier ups their costs). I wouldn’t hold my breath they’ll return any time soon.

      On a related note, I miss their soyrizo.

      • I saw the soyrizo when I was there on Saturday!

        • Yep, soyrizo is back. We’ve been sorely missing it and were very excited to find it back on Saturday. It looks like it might be made by a different company, but we found it to be as good as the original.

      • This is the truth. Don’t fall in love with any product you find there, because a year from now, it will be gone.

        • Me and my chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwiches have been going strong for over 2 years now. If they take them away I will cry. In the aisles. for weeks. 🙁

        • If the green chili cheese tamales go away, I will be so sad!

        • Man! I still mourn the loss of my candied hibiscus flowers. “It’s so haaaaard….to say goodbyeeeeeee…to yesterdaaaaaaaaaayyyeeeeeeee.” #firstworldproblems

      • Yes! The soy chorizo is back with slightly different packaging. It’s especially delicious mixed into a can of their vegetarian chili. Makes even a meat-eater like me say, “mmm.”

  • It’s because the gosh darned Millennials can’t get outta bed before 9am!

  • Answer: Because they can.

  • Could it be a traffic thing, opening a little later so people turning into the garage don’t back up on 14th during the middle of rush hour?

  • how are the lines at this location? I’ve been avoiding cause I imagine it is totally overcrowded all the time.

    • I went at 9 am on Tuesday, and only a few people were in the store. My sister went after work around 5:30 pm on a Wednesday 2 weeks after it opened, and she said that the line wasn’t long and she didn’t have to wait long to checkout.

      • It’s really weird how empty this store is. Especially after all the hype. I’m used to the stores in NoVA where people are pushing and shoving and you have to wait around for an aisle to clear before going down it. The couple times I went to the 14th street store (weeknights) there wasn’t even a line for the checkout.

    • I think the overcrowding of this store has been greatly exaggerated. While there are constantly throngs of people swarming this area, there are a lot of other places to go, and not everybody is knocking down the doors of Trader Joe’s.

      • Yeah, I get the impression most people are excited about living near the new trader Joe’s and talking about the new trader Joe’s, but aren’t actually that interested in shopping there. The store is not crowded at all! I think most “regular” grocery stores like Safeway and giant are worse.

      • Granted I foolishly went on a Sunday evening, but the end of the line was…at the front of the store. As in, when you walked in the door, that’s the line. It snaked through every aisle and around. Luckily the cashiers are quick, but I can assure you it was not an exaggeration that day.

    • Not bad. The worst it was it was about 50 people deep (all the way to the back of the store and down an aisle to the front) but the wait time was about 5 minutes. The number of cashiers and the spaciousness of the store make it very doable.

    • Not bad at all… Yet

    • I’ve gone a couple of times now after work on weekdays (5:30-6 ish). Busy store, but kudos for having nearly every checkout station manned. Never waited more than a minute to be called.

      On the downside, coming from U St, both times they’ve had pallets stacked on the sidewalk like a disaster relief effort. No big deal for me walking off the curb for 20-30 ft, but wheelchairs and strollers would have had some issues.

    • I went a week or so ago after work, and the line stretched through the aisles to the entrance. The employee working the end of the line used me to time the wait and it was almost exactly 20 minutes from getting in line to totally checked out walking out the door. That said, I think they’ve got the A team working here for now. Everyone was super nice. The aisles are also MUCH wider than Foggy Bottom, so even though there were lines in almost every aisle, it didn’t feel as claustrophobic as the FB store. I just shopped the whole store except the sides of the aisles the line was up against and then just shopped those from the line.

      • Weird, it sounds like you and I were there at the same time (maybe you a tad earlier) and had completely different experiences.

    • I’ve only been there once (last Wednesday around 7pm), but it was the least-crowded Trader Joe’s I’ve ever been to. There was no one in the checkout line when I got there, and very few people in the aisles. I was really surprised.

    • I’ve been on a Sunday and it was of course pretty bad then, and on a Saturday and it was busy but not insanely so. Sounds like I need to go on weekdays!

  • Having every register open is key, and TJ’s is consistently good at this. Even at the ridiculous mosh pit that is Bethesda, you never wait very long. I also like the single line… why don’t all stores do this?!?

    On the same topic: Banks. Have you ever been to a bank where more than half the teller windows were occupied? By someone actually doing teller work? I went to get a cashiers check today, and they had two people working, 4-5 empty stations, and a line at least 10 people long.

    • TJ’s really has it down: train your people well, have a lot of registers, and utilize every one during your busiest times. They don’t even bother with self-checkout cause that really only works in theory if everybody using it was only buying five or less items and is really good at navigating slow, clunky user interfaces.

      As far as the banks go, though it depends on the bank and the branch, the versatility of the modern branch ATM, the prevalence of online banking, and digital deposit through smartphones has allowed banks to become complacent with staffing only half as many tellers as they have windows. I make several deposits during the week for work at a bank on Dupont circle, old stately looking building with at least seven windows inside and always no more than three tellers, no matter how busy. What’s really strange is when I go to my personal bank in Cloumbia Heights on a Friday afternoon and there’s a line eight people deep for the two ATMs but no one waiting for the two tellers inside.

  • Could it be a condition of their lease?

  • Opening at 8am might help the OP, but I think most people are already at work or well on their way by then. I think they’d get more customers staying open an hour later.

  • I live less than 4 blocks from Trader Joe’s and have been there 4 or 5 times since they opened. It’s always been crowded, with long lines snaking around the aisles. But the lines move quickly — and they’ve even been offering free cookies to those in line 😉

  • Oh, if only Trader Joe’s had customer service counters in their stores, with the names of their managerial staff prominently posted, so that customers with questions might find the information they were looking for!

    Seriously, is it that hard to direct a question to the person that would have the answer, instead of wailing and gnashing your teeth to the internet? It’s not like this is some unknowable koan with no solution but the uncaring void.

  • The store in Foggy Bottom was originally only open until 9pm at night and then after a few years they extended their hours to 10pm. I imagine that if TJ’s sees evidence that it is worth it for them to open the 14th St store an hour earlier at 8am, they’ll eventually do so.

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