Trader Joe's arrival a sign of Tulsa's growth

Tulsa World – To some Tulsans, Trader Joe’s is more than just a new grocery store; it’s a sign the city is now on the same plane as the dozens of other cities the specialty brand already calls home.

The company’s first Oklahoma store opens at 8 a.m. Friday in Brookside, marking the end of a three-year process to bring it to Tulsa. Trader Joe’s was TYPros “Bring it to Tulsa” initiative’s first target because of the brand awareness it had among young professionals.

Brian Brunk, a Norman-based principal with retail consulting firm Boston Retail Partners, said the brand markets to a demographic that wants organic, healthy food at a lower price point than its competitor, Whole Foods.

Besides the low prices, he said, the company makes a point to hire “extroverted individuals” who can engage customers and provide a memorable shopping experience. The store has a “loyal, cult-like following,” Brunk said.

Brunk said Trader Joe’s arrival in Oklahoma — there are plans for another store in Oklahoma City — is progress for retail options in the state, which is “a very underserved market, to say the least.”

He said retail options like Trader Joe’s in Tulsa will help attract and retain talented young people.

“You’ve gotta have that to attract and keep that demographic in that market,” he said. “It’s a big deal in today’s society to have that offering.”

Read full article: Trader Joe’s arrival a sign of Tulsa’s growth

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