Below is an Ashvegas comment from Craig Ayliffe, a Trader Joe’s employee who says he’s worked for the company for nearly 20 years. Ayliffe responds to another commenter’s concerns about the new business and its effect on the Merrimon area and the displaced business owners.
These statements and opinions are Ayliffe’s.
1.Trader Joe’s isn’t throwing out three local businesses. The owners of the property decided to sell the properties. The current leasee’s may have renewed contracts with the “may sell the property” stipulation and/or the leasee’s are compensated for the displacement, as is usually the case.
2. Trader Joe’s does occasionally buy the property it sits on.
3. Trader Joe’s loves Whole Foods and it’s ethos. We thrive together synergistically in many locations across the US.
4. This store will bring 100-125 (+-) new jobs to Asheville. This is probably 4 times the number of jobs currently represented in these 3 businesses. GOOD JOBS with great salaries and opportunities for advancement. With full 1st class health benefits and dental after 3 months employment. A very generous employer-paid 401-k. Paid days off. Flexible work shifts. Employee discounts. Great music. Good healthy food.
5. I would have not chosen Merrimon, it is crowded. But our stores in LA are situated like this and fit in very comfortably in highly developed areas and dense neighborhoods.
6. As in LA, if you live within 3 miles of a TJ store, your property value just went up 10%. (I am not kidding).
7. Trader Joe’s loves Asheville. I for one am thrilled to see all my Asheville friends finally get a store.