Trader Joe’s, H&M and Whole Foods Coming to GR

Posted at 4:51 PM, Mar 05, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-05 22:46:41-05

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – H&M, Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods are expected to pop up in the Grand Rapids market soon.

The announcement came Tuesday as part of the International Council of Shopping Centers West Michigan Alliance annual conference.

Collier’s International, a local real estate brokerage firm, told FOX 17 there are plans in the works to bring the grocers and the Swedish clothing retailer to the Grand Rapids area within the next year.

Whole Foods is known for promising high quality natural and organic products.

Trader Joe’s prides itself on having hard to find items that aren’t always available at other stores.

While H&M is known for being an affordable Men’s and Women’s clothing retailer.

Mike Murray with Collier’s International said while locations haven’t been nailed down for the three big name retailers, those businesses have been looking at spots near Knapps Corner, and 28th Street in Grand Rapids.

Other locations in the works could be Ada, Cascade, and Forest Hills.

“They come to the market, they open one store, see where the customers come from, and go from there,” said Murray when asked about multiple locations for each business.

Murray said the three stores have been looking at the market for years but they were always hesitant to pull the trigger.

Suzanne Schultz with the Grand Rapids Planning Commission says she may know one of the reasons they were kept at bay in the past.

“Certainly Spartan stores and Meijer, their home is in Grand Rapids,” said Schultz.  “I think that is one reason we haven’t seen a lot of grocery chains come into this area is because they have been so strong.”

Schultz said while those stores continue to remain strong, recent population growth in the city coupled with a demand for the services offered by the three companies make the timing right.

Schultz said even if you never spend a dollar at the new stores, you still might see some benefits.

She said, “I think it’s good news for everybody because it means we are a strong enough market that we are attracting the bigger retailers.”