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Trader Joe’s Opens ‘Pronto’ Small(er)-Format Convenience Store

Grocery chain’s former wine shop location will offer grab-and-go fare along with other products
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Photograph: Shutterstock

Small-format grocer Trader Joe’s has opened Trader Joe’s Pronto, an even-smaller-format, convenience-like “grab-pay-and-go” concept store in Union Square in New York, in the space formerly occupied by the company’s wine store, according to a report by the EV Grieve news site.

A traditional Trader Joe’s store is approximately 15,000 square feet. Pronto is approximately 2,800 square feet in size. The name “Pronto” derives from Trader Joe’s founder Joe Coulombe’s original chain of convenience stores, called Pronto Markets, which opened in California in 1958. The first Trader Joe’s opened in 1967.

“Trader Joe’s Pronto is a one-of-a-kind extension of our store in Union Square. This additional space allows us to carry more of the products our customers in this neighborhood purchase daily,” Nakia Rohde, public relations manager for Monrovia, California-based Trader Joe’s, told CSP Daily News. “We do not have plans to open additional Trader Joe’s Pronto markets in New York or elsewhere in the country.”

The wine shop, representing the brand's only liquor license in the state, closed in 2022 after more than 15 years in business, EV Grieve reported.  Workers here planned to unionize when the company closed the location, it said.

In a statement to Gothamist cited by the EV Grieve, a company spokesperson said that the decision to close the store had nothing to do with the unionizing efforts. The spokesperson called the location “underperforming.”

Essen, Germany-based Aldi Nord, which also owns the Aldi small-format grocery chain, owns the Trader Joe’s chain, with more than 580 locations in the United States.

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