James’ SLO Life… Trader Joe’s Insider Information

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Summer is slowly coming to a close and with Cuesta [college] back in on Monday and schools (Templeton) starting back in on Wednesday, normalcy is returning to North County. The droves of tourists are slowly dwindling and we are heading to the last week of concerts in the park. The basics such as bread, milk, lunch meat, and juice boxes are once again the hot commodity at your local Trader Joe’s. Kids are walking around sulking from disbelief that summer has flown past so quickly as their parents dance through the aisles acting like some Disney character singing a musical number in their heads. As routine returns to our customers (@trader joes) so does it return to us (tj’s). Ordering for the store becomes regular as does the products being sold. The rush of customers happens all at the same time each week and can be easily avoided if your schedule is flexible.

During the week the busiest times are 9:30-10, noon-1, 3-4, & 5:30-7:30. It follows school drop off/pick up and the end of the work day. The weekends are different, Saturdays are a zoo pretty much all day after 9 so getting there when we open at 8 is essential to beat the crowd. Sundays are dead until church gets out. Around 10:30 we get in the first trickle of a rush from those folk I so lovingly refer to as “sinners”. These are the ones who got communion and went straight out the church doors without waiting for the final blessing. By 11:15 the “good” church goers are starting to storm the gates and by noon, we are in full tilt craziness as those who went to brunch are now out shopping. By 7, the store is a ghost town haunted by not only the spirits of those who were shopping just a couple hours earlier as well as the product that used to stock our shelves. Shopping sunday evening is only for those who are extremely flexible in what they are buying since there is not much left but don’t want to run into ANYBODY. If you pay attention and schedule your shopping time appropriately, you too can take advantage and apply the joy all the parents feel with the conclusion of summer and the normalcy that comes with a regular routine back in their lives.

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