Back in March, The Burn broke the news that the powers-that-be from Trader Joe’s were looking at locations in Loudoun County, including at least some spots in Ashburn. We thought it was time for an update, so here’s what we know.
We continue to hear that Trader Joe’s is exploring locations in Loudoun County. We’ve heard it directly or indirectly from multiple people connected to area shopping centers. But no confirmed location yet.
Recently, a Loudoun County resident posted on a Facebook that she’d heard some news while at the TJ’s in Reston. Here is her post: “I was at the Reston Trader Joe’s yesterday and was told by the manager that within the next 2 years there will be 2 Trader Joe’s in LOCO!!! He didn’t say where… but I am so excited!!!”
Now we all know there have been rumors like this for years and years. So we wanted to hear it for ourselves. The Burn went to Trader Joe’s in Reston and we asked four separate employees if there was any news about TJ’s coming to Loudoun County. And three of them confirmed they heard it is in the works. One said the company is definitely looking at locations, one said she heard they were working on it and one said they’re looking for not one, but two locations. We responded that there are always rumors — is it really different this time? Yes, we were told. Before it was just rumors, now there was actual activity.
We should also point out that the Loudoun Now newspaper has reported that they spoke to a TJ’s representative and were told a Loudoun location wasn’t in the company’s “two-year plan.” However, the two scenarios are not mutually exclusive.
It was October 2016 that The Burn broke the news that a Lidl grocery store was looking at a location in the Broadlands. That came true, but that store isn’t scheduled to open until at least 2018. In March 2017, The Burn was the first to report that an Aldi supermarket was taking over the former Safeway space in Ashburn. That store also isn’t likely to open before 2018 and the building is already built. Both of those companies were certainly researching, exploring and negotiating for space months, even years, before the news became public. Heck, just the lease negotiations for retail space can sometimes take more than a year to finalize.
So it’s definite that Trader Joe’s is exploring locally — just as we’ve reported. But the timeline to the grand opening of a store in Loudoun could stretch months, even several years. As one of the employees at the TJ’s in Reston told us: “You know Trader Joe’s. We move slowly.”