Trader Joe's long overdue

Dear Editor:The recent announcement that the local Downey-based Dodge dealership would be expanding in order to add the Chrysler/Jeep nameplates is terrific news, and certainly the type that other neighboring cities are no doubt looking at with envy. The City Council's decision to provide some of the needed working capital in return for likely increases in sales tax revenues is an excellent example of a private/public partnership. This recession will eventually end, people will start buying cars again and, as almost anyone can tell you, there's no sales tax revenue like that achieved through new car sales. It's now the perfect time to again turn everyone's attention to that other retailing gem, the Trader Joe's store. As someone who grew up in Downey and still spends quite a lot of time there, I know that Trader Joe's is the one store desired by almost everyone I come into contact with. It's hard to have a general discussion about Downey without someone saying something to the effect of, "I just wish we had a Trader Joe's". We've all no doubt heard the excuses, typically variations of the story that the company wanted to convert their corporately-aligned Pronto Market into a Trader Joe's. Supposedly, the city's leaders at the time rebuffed those efforts and Trader Joe's (again, supposedly) vowed to never return to Downey. Well, it's decades later, Trader Joe's changed their management team years ago, and it's a different retail environment. In other words, it's time for a Downey Trader Joe's. What can the average citizen do? Let Trader Joe's know why the company belongs in Downey. For example, you could let them know you currently shop at their stores, but would spend so much more of your hard-earned dollars there if they only had a location in your city. You can tell them these things in a couple ways. One method is simple; their website, at, has an easy-to-complete form ("Location Requests") in the "Customer Questions & Feedback" section of the Contact page. Another method to contact the company is by sending them a personal letter. (Some companies give more consideration to letters, as the latter typically show that the writer has made more of an effort for outreach.) These letters can be addressed to: Trader Joe's 800 S. Shamrock Avenue Monrovia, CA 91016 What can the city's leaders do to attract Trader Joe's? They've made some attempts in the past, but the present City Council seems to have a pro-business energy we haven't seen for awhile. We've been witness to their recent tireless efforts in attracting businesses to Downey. Those same energies applied toward a company that would no doubt do very well locally, might eventually bring us a store we've been seeking for a very long time - the Downey Trader Joe's. - Mark Echmalian, Long Beach

********** Published: June 17, 2010 - Volume 9 - Issue 9