The E Madison Trader Joe’s has reopened after one of the stranger remodeling closures in Capitol Hill grocery store history with a new layout that seems optimized for the new world of COVID-19 era retail.
We asked readers in the Capitol Hill Seattle Facebook Group to report back on what they found.
The front has been cleared out with the staff desk area known as The Bridge moved back by the liquor section, and new entrance and exit sections with “with low wooden walls and gates” added to channel shoppers into and out of the store. There are new areas for customers to pack their groceries into reusable bags and aisles across the store have reportedly been widened. And, we’re sorry to report, the sample station has been completely removed from the back of the store. Thoughts and prayers.
The changes follow a few-week closure of the E Madison store in what the company said was a needed break for the overhaul and a group of employees called retaliation for management frustrations over staff participation in the Black Lives Matter movement. Prior to the reopening, the employees mounted a “Save Trader Joe’s Store 13” campaign with demands for management to make changes over Black Lives Matter and worker rights at the nationwide grocery chain.
The store is now reopened as of last week and the campaign is still in motion.
Whatever disagreements are ongoing between the store and the worker group isn’t on display. There are no BLM signs but Pride, Trans Pride, and Pan-African flags hang inside the store. There is also a new sign asking shoppers — and, presumably, media — not to take pictures or video inside.
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