Trader Joe's Opens a Unique Grab-and-Go
Image Credit - Trader Joe's
08 April, 2024

Trader Joe's Opens a Unique Grab-and-Go "Pronto" Store in NYC

Trader Joe's has launched a totally new type of store in New York City - a one-of-a-kind grab-and-go market called "Trader Joe's Pronto." But NYC shoppers shouldn't expect to see lots of these smaller, quicker stores popping up in their neighborhoods right away.

The specialty grocer opened its first-ever Pronto location this week at E. 14th Street in Union Square. It took over the space that used to be Trader Joe's only wine shop in New York before it suddenly closed down in 2022 after 15 years.

"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," a company spokesperson told local blog EV Grieve. "We do not have plans to open additional Trader Joe's Pronto markets in New York or elsewhere in the country."

The grab-and-go setup lets customers quickly get prepared foods, snacks and other daily items without waiting in a checkout line.

The unique Pronto market is opening as Trader Joe's is otherwise growing quickly across the United States. According to Loc8NearMe, the chain plans to launch around 16 new standard grocery locations in multiple states over the next few months.

However, the Pronto model seems to be an isolated test for now as Trader Joe's says it has no immediate plans to copy the grab-and-go format anywhere else beyond this single Manhattan location.

The new store opening got extra notice after Trader Joe's recently raised the price of its iconic banana from 19 cents to 23 cents, the first increase since 2001. The company said rising supply costs led to the price hike on the popular fruit.

"We only change our prices when our costs change, and...we've now reached a point where this change is necessary," a rep told CNBC Make It, though adding the new 23-cent price "still represents a tremendous everyday value for bananas."

So while “banana inflation” may be unavoidable, NYC shoppers can at least look forward to grabbing their purchases faster than before at Union Square's fresh Trader Joe's Pronto market.