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- Trader Joe’s has hundreds of locations all over the US, including 11 in the five boroughs of New York City.
- The chain’s largest store on the East Coast just opened on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.
- We visited three Trader Joe’s locations — one in the suburbs of Connecticut and two in New York City — to see where it was better to shop.
- Between your standard suburban location, a standard city location, and a newer city location, the loser was clear.
With locations all over the US, you might think that shopping at Trader Joe’s would be the same no matter where you go.
And while you’ll find much of the same products and prices at different locations, the shopping experience can vary between urban and suburban locations.
To determine the better shopping experience, we visited two urban locations — one established location in the Murray Hill neighborhood of New York and one new location on the Lower East Side — and the Trader Joe’s in Stamford, Connecticut, located about an hour outside of Manhattan.
We considered three main criteria when evaluating the stores:
- First, we looked at each store’s layout and the ease at which we were able to move around.
- Next, we judged each store based on how well-stocked it was when we visited on a weekday morning.
- Finally, we considered how each store handled crowds and lines.
After evaluating the three stores, we concluded that it is generally much easier to shop at Trader Joe’s in the suburbs, with the exception of the newly-opened urban store.
Urban stores were harder to navigate and tended to have longer lines, which left us longing for the peaceful shopping experience back in the suburbs.
Keep reading to find out why you may want to upgrade your usual city grocery shopping experience.
We decided to compare a Trader Joe’s store in the suburbs of Stamford, Connecticut …
… with city locations on the Lower East Side …
… and in Murray Hill in Manhattan.
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