Remember watching the opening of the Berlin Wall on TV in 1989?
Thousands of East Germans crushing their way through the newly opened border into West Berlin. But where were most of them really heading to on their first visit to freedom?
The supermarkets and department stores, that’s where!
That’s where everything they didn’t have in the East was available for the asking on fully-stocked shelves.
Fast forward to this week’s hot July weekend in Kansas City and Friday’s grand opening of not just one, but two TRADER JOE’S grocery stores—the upscale sister business of German owned ALDI stores.
A grand opening without any advertising no less!
(Note: TJ’s takes all credit cards. Aldi doesn’t take any. And the second TJ location is at 119th and Roe in Leawood.)
Barricades at Ward Parkway Center, security officers, long lines, humanity in mass. You’d think these people had never been to a modern supermarket. Or God forbid, a WHOLE FOODS.
As I was driving past the new Trader Joe’s off State Line Friday morning, I swore to stay away from the place for at least a month before checking it out. But curiosity got the best of me Sunday afternoon and off to Ward Parkway Center it was.
Trying to find a parking spot anywhere close was a major challenge. But I lucked out with a spot on the far north side of Target’s parking area.
What did I find inside the new store?
Massive crowds, many semi-empty shelves that couldn’t be restocked fast enough and some pretty tasty looking goodies. Pricing at first glance seemed to be good to average. A six pack of Beck’s beer $6.99, while a gallon of milk sold for $2.99—good prices.
Did I stock up?
No way! Eight checkout lanes. Each with lines at least 20 shoppers deep.
Will I go back? Sure, why not—when things have settled down a bit that is. Until then, it’s HyVee, Price Chopper—and dare I suggest–Whole Foods for me.