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The race for parking begins as Trader Joe's opens in Wilmington

Francinegirvan via Wikimedia Commons

Let the traffic games begin! Grocery chain Trader Joe’s opened last Friday in Wilmington and shoppers looking for good deals may also get caught in parking gridlock.

The corner of South College and Oleander may be the closest representation of Los Angeles-style traffic we have in Wilmington. As Trader Joe’s opens on that corner today, with a small parking lot for many anxious Wilmington shoppers, perhaps a little LA perspective might help.

Two years ago, Tien Nguyen got into her one and only shouting match over a parking space at Trader Joe’s in LA’s Silver Lake neighborhood. A writer for LA Weekly, Nguyen was inspired to publish a list of the top five worst Trader Joe’s parking lots in Los Angeles. People loved it. The list was picked up by the LA Times, the Huffington Post, and two television stations.

“It’s just funny that this is like, a thing,” said Nguyen. “It’s funny that it got that much attention, it’s funny that people have all experienced variations of this frustration, and Trader Joe’s still kind of insists on creating small lots for its theoretically small store that’s much bigger than they’d like to admit it is. Once you figure out all the parking lot woes, the store is worth going to which is why people put up with it.”
Nguyen’s advice to Wilmington shoppers: be prepared to wait patiently for a parking space, grit your teeth, and be nice to one another.