More wine, more cheese and more shelves to move stuff around -- the new addition to the Woodland Hills Trader Joe's is shopping cart-ready, although still not completely finished. The long-awaited wine-and-cheese-and-snacks room finally got the necessary city permits, giving customers a chance to roam the spacious aisles.
The popular location, which opened in 2008, has added 4,310 square feet, bringing the total size to 13,900 square feet, according to a company spokesperson.
Someone on the design team must be a fan of House Hunters, because the store now has that much-desired "open concept." Shelves in the old part of the store are being lowered, with the goal of giving shoppers a panoramic view from chips all the way to produce. (This is a sharp contrast to older Trader Joe's stores, characterized by their cramped aisles and challenging traffic patterns -- both in the stores and in the parking lots.)
The space features doors that open onto Ventura Boulevard, providing a second entrance to the store. These doors seem geared for pedestrians, since they have to be opened by hand and are not shopping cart-friendly. (Which makes sense, since nobody wants carts left on the boulevard.) The original automatic entrance and exit doors, off of the 90-space parking lot in the back, remain. And there are more cash registers on the new side of the store, making long lines less likely. The store address printed on receipts has changed, from Clarendon Street, which abuts the parking lot, to Ventura Boulevard.
According to a CNN Money story, Trader Joe's stores sell approximately $1,750 in merchandise per square foot.
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With the construction opening up more shelf space in the old section, it's going to be easier for the store to do its version of "Where's Waldo?" or, in this case, where's the olive oil? As noted in a 2011 Forbes article, part of TJ's marketing strategy is to "rotate product shelves and placement (they will literally change the schematic and traffic flow of their stores 180 degrees.)" And it works, doesn't it? You go to the spot that last week displayed ketchup and find yourself face-to-face with Speculoos Cookie Butter spread, which somehow ends up in your shopping cart.
Trader Joe's Woodland Hills: 21055 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills; (818) 712-9475.
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