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MINNEAPOLIS - Monrovia, Calif.-based Trader Joe's Co. is looking for up to 10 locations as it prepares to enter the Twin Cities, according to real-estate sources cited by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal.
The specialty food retailer is well-known on the West and East coasts for its offbeat stores, private-label goods and low prices. About 85 percent of the company's products are the Trader Joe's brand.
The company recently has expanded into Midwestern states, including Michigan, Indiana, Ohio and Illinois. It is about to open its 11th store in the Chicago area.
The company operates 193 stores, which are usually free-standing or in strip retail centers. They run from 9,000 to 11,000 square feet.
Mike Sims, a retail broker at Bloomington-based United Properties, told the Business Journal he wasn't familiar with the company's plans, but estimated that even with an aggressive growth plan, it would take two to three years to secure local sites and build 10 grocery stores like those operated by Trader Joe's.
With many local grocers, including Kowalski's, Lunds and Byerly's, already sporting reputations for natural and organic food lines, getting a first look from consumers will be a challenge for Trader Joe's, analysts noted.