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Hush Hush Trader Joe's deal draws big crowds for opening
Northern Nevada Business Weekly
April 30, 2006

Specialty grocer Trader Joe's opens only 10 stores a year.

So John Mulder, broker at Reno-based Premier Realty Inc., considers it a coup to have leased the Monrovia, Calif., company an anchor store position at Clear Creek Plaza at the south edge of Carson City. 

The deal was hush-hush for months as Mulder worked under a confidentiality agreement. Yet grand opening day December 8th saw traffic backed up a mile along Highway 395 from Topsy Lane with people unable to get into the parking lot.

"It was word of mouth campaign" says Mulder.  Workers at the Trader Joe's store in Reno let the cat out of the bag.

The 12,000 square-foot store is managed by Sam West, formerly at the company's Reno store.  

When selecting a site, Trader Joe's does extensive surveys, analysis and traffic pattern studies, says Mulder. But, he adds, it helps if someone local, like himself, has a previous relationship with the corporation.

Synergy is the true anchor of a successful shopping center, he says. It's a matter of orchestrating the main and then diversifying into different areas.

For example, at Clear Creek, the general anchor is Wal-Mart.  But to round out foot traffic with reasons to come, consumers need to see the center as a one-stop shopping destination.

"A grocery anchored center is optimization in making the tenant synergy work", he says. Plus a strong line up of health and service businesses, including a dentist and a chiropractor.

Gold's Gym is manning a 1,400 square-foot space to sign up members for a 10,100 square-foot Gold's Express Gym it plans to open at Clear Creek Plaza in February.

Round it out with something for everyone: Gold's Gym, Sprint, BOA Mortgage, Subway, Cabinet Facers, Dollar Loan, Chiropractics, It's Educational, Cost Cutters Haircuts, Rent A Center, Carson Nails, Nono's Home Decor and King Buffet.

A successful center, Mulder says, is all about the mix.