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The Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s has reopened after being closed ‘indefinitely’ for remodel after Black Lives Matter controversy — Here’s what’s changed

Thanks to CHS reader Andrew for the pictures

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.

Thanks to CHS reader Andrew for the pictures

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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19 thoughts on “The Capitol Hill Trader Joe’s has reopened after being closed ‘indefinitely’ for remodel after Black Lives Matter controversy — Here’s what’s changed

    • It’s not uncommon at all – before the proliferation of cell phone cameras, most stores wouldn’t allow photographs inside, but many have simply stopped trying to fight it these days…

  1. So they really were remodeling, with an eye toward Covid challenges, and it really wasn’t about BLM. Instead opportunists, once again, used the current climate to claim victimhood that didn’t exist.

      • Indefinitely just means they didn’t know when they would reopen, if ever. It didn’t exclude that they couldn’t reopen.

        The BLM controversy was likely just BS stirred up by some disgruntled employees who had appeared to have just lost their jobs. There was no proof, just allegations.

    • Umm, what?! Come on, use your brains. The store closed the DAY OF the big BLM marches, with ZERO heads’ up to anyone, including customers prior. NO ONE EVER does that for a remodel. Ever. Something is being covered up. Anyone who thinks otherwise is beyond clueless and unfathomably naive.

  2. TJ’s appears to not be the only store taking advantage of the drop in customers to do some remodeling – I went to Uwajimaya yesterday and it was torn apart… it appears to still be in the middle of a major overhaul with a completely new layout.

    • Their remodel was well underway before the pandemic started.

      At first it felt kind of hazardous, about half the store was closed off in March so it was even tighter than normal just as we were supposed to give each other six feet.

  3. Wasn’t a very good update. There are usually 2 entrances. One in the front of the store and one for people who park in the garage and use the elevator to enter the store. Where does the line start to go in? The line will be IN the store?

  4. The update could have been completed in 3 days. They were going to close, but stayed open due to massive public pressure and threat of bad PR…that’s about it…

  5. I’m not a lawyer, but I think it’s in the Constitution that legal warnings written in Comic Sans can be disregarded with no legal consequences.

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