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Wednesday, 06 March 2013 18:24

Trader Joe's, Whole Foods deny reports of Grand Rapids market entry

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 Looks like West Michigan residents may have to wait for some Two Buck Chuck after all.

A day after the local media went bonkers over a report that hip retailers Trader Joe’s, Whole Foods Market and H&M would open stores in the Grand Rapids market, two of the three have said they have no plans to enter the market anytime soon, and the third has remained silent.

The media maelstrom started after Mike Murray, a principal at real estate firm Colliers International, told attendees at the annual International Council of Shopping Centers conference held in Grand Rapids that the three the companies would locate here within the next year.

Neither Murray nor Colliers local office represents any of the three chains, according to a Colliers spokesperson. 

[RELATED:  Food Follies?  Economics, perceptions work against attracting downtown grocery]

Murray claims his firm has had conversations with the master broker for Trader Joe’s and a development executive from Whole Foods within the past 60 days.

“They are basically trying to get something done within the year, but they are never going to admit it,” he told MiBiz.  “We’ve talked to their reps about specific sites in the marketplace, and they’re trying to make deals work.”

Bob Vedas of the Midwest regional office of Whole Foods Market Inc. (NASDAQ: WFM) rebuffed the claim.  “There are no plans at this time for a Grand Rapids Whole Foods,” he said.  

Because they are a public company, new store plans would need to be filed in their quarterly reports, he said. 

That conversation followed an earlier report by WOOD-TV, that “Grand Rapids is not in Trader Joe’s two-year plan,” according to Alison Mochizuki, director of public relations for Trader Joe’s.

H&M has not responded to media requests for comment. 

Read 3027 times Last modified on Thursday, 07 March 2013 12:46
Elijah Brumback

Staff Writer

ebrumback@mibiz.com

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