Trader Joe’s Closing? Nope — April Fool’s Joke Claimed All Stores Closing By 2017

Those who love Trader Joe’s can breathe a sigh of relief. Despite what initially seems like a valid article because it’s from Yahoo, which claimed Trader Joe’s would close all of its stores by 2017, Trader Joe’s stores aren’t closing. Those who take the time to read until the end of the article, titled “Trader Joe’s to Close All Stores by 2017, Plans to Discontinue Products,” learn that it is an early April Fool’s Day joke. Published on March 31, the article received plenty of attention.

“If this shocking news hits you as hard as it hit me, fear not. It’s merely April Fools’ time. Now go celebrate being a fool with your favorite cheap wine.”

The article pointed to the Trader Joe’s website, but for those who researched the Trader Joe’s announcements page, they wouldn’t find a press release claiming all 457 Trader Joe’s stores were closing by January 2017. Instead, they’d find an announcement about a new store opening in Spokane, Washington. Instead of closing Trader Joe’s stores, they’d learn about a Long Beach, California, store moving.

Trader Joe’s has had their share of recalls lately, but that didn’t cause them to close. Products like the Undeclared Milk in Chocolate Orange Sticks and Chocolate Raspberry Sticks were listed in the recalls category on Trader Joe’s website. Also listed were specific roasted pistachios.

But one can only imagine how it would feel for an employee of Trader Joe’s to read an article that appears to tell them that they’d be out of a job — and then learn it’s a joke. With details about dropping sales figures and increased competition, the article was definitely a shock to readers.

“The company has been having financial problems for a while, and with online sales and so many new organic food stores opening competition has been incredibly stiff. The past year they have been slashing prices to combat their main competitor Whole Foods, however this was not enough to keep up.”

As March 31 transitions to April 1, expect more April Fool’s Day jokes to abound on the web. Especially detailed ones like the one from Yahoo, which even quoted the CEO of Trader Joe’s about the supposed store closings.

“‘The competition has been steeper and steeper every quarter,’ said CEO Dan Bane. ‘At this point, there isn’t enough cookie butter in the world to pave the road ahead.’ They will start rolling out store closings in May of this year starting with Florida locations.”

Trader Joe’s isn’t one of the stores that are often listed on the general lists of businesses experiencing problems to the point of closing a bunch of stores. With stores like Whole Foods and others featuring the healthier type of fare that consumers have been seeking, it was indeed a surprise to initially entertain the notion that a health-focused store like Trader Joe’s would close all of its stores.

The piece even mentioned Whole Foods, claiming that the store offered to carry Trader Joe’s cookie butter brand Speculoos — but said that Trader Joe’s turned down Whole Foods’ offer.

“‘We truly appreciated the offer,’ said Bane. ‘But there is a time and a place for everything, and it appears our time has run out.’ With Trader Joe’s gone, Whole Foods will corner the market on organic foods, but there is still time to stock up on your favorite TJ brands before stores close entirely.”

[AP Photo/Michael Dwyer]

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