When it comes to Trader Joe’s, the city of Goodyear has its heart on its sleeve.
The city has engaged in an intense marketing campaign over the last several years in hopes of successfully courting the Monrovia-based grocery giant.
Last week, the city of Goodyear held a four-hour virtual celebration of the grocery chain’s 55th anniversary in which city leaders and Goodyear residents chimed in about their desire to see a Trader Joe’s closer to home.
Over the years, the city’s marketing team has created more than one video expressing Goodyear’s enthusiasm for the grocery chain, and in 2019, the mayor declared Dec. 13 ‘We Want a Trader Joe’s Day.’
Goodyear’s relentless courtship of the brand isn’t random. Trader Joe’s has consistently ranked at the top of residents’ wishlists in the city’s retail survey since 2017.
And the grocery chain is apparently aware of the city’s feelings, but are those feelings mutual?
We’re not too sure.
A Trader Joe’s spokesperson confirmed Monday that the SoCal grocery chain has taken notice of the city’s efforts. But other than that, no new information was provided.
“I’ve seen the campaign and I’m happy to hear that we are wanted,” said Nakia Rohde, a public relations manager for the company. “We consider many locations,” Rohde continued. “All of the locations that are opening soon are listed on our website. Unfortunately, the Southwest Valley is not on the list at this time.”
Of course, every man, woman and child in Goodyear would know if a Southwest Valley location was on that list — the city might have to decree a ‘We’ve Got a Trader Joe’s Day.’
Unfortunately, businesses don’t just build locations because people want them badly enough. So what would it actually take to get a Trader Joe’s in Goodyear?
Income seems to play a role, according to a 2015 study done by AggData, as reported by Time, which found that Trader Joe’s tend to get built in counties with a median income of $62,600 and higher.
Of course, Maricopa County is enormous and already has almost a dozen locations. And Goodyear certainly has the income numbers to attract a Trader Joe’s, if that were the only factor at play.
Goodyear’s household median income is $85,217 according to Census.gov — far higher than the $62,600 threshold.
So we know that the company caters to wealthier clientele, but according to the Freakonomics podcast, Trader Joe’s also tend to get built in cheaper enclaves within expensive parts of town. We also know that stores need to be built in proximity to distribution centers — there happens to be a Trader Joe’s distribution center in neighboring Tolleson.
And Trader Joe’s apparently does take requests into account when it decides on new locations.
According to an episode of the Inside Trader Joe’s podcast, as reported by allrecipes.com, "We've got a plan, and that plan is based on customer feedback," said Tracy Anderson, senior VP of real estate and construction at Trader Joe's.
Anderson added that the company receives hundreds of communications per day about opening new locations, and while there are no guarantees, she said the company takes each request into consideration.
Madeline Ackley is a Phoenix-area native who joined Independent Newsmedia in July 2021 as a reporter for the Goodyear-Litchfield Park Independent. She is passionate about delivering hyperlocal coverage of issues that matter to her community.
She has previously covered immigration, policing, homelessness, veteran’s issues and breaking news and her byline has appeared in The Arizona Mirror, The Arizona Republic, The Phoenix Business Journal and Cronkite News.
Madeline is passionate about animal welfare and the environment. She loves to cook, travel and spend time with her family.