By Wausau Pilot and Review staff
No, Trader Joe’s is not opening in Wausau, despite a large banner that “magically” appeared on the side of the former Shopko building on the city’s west side.
Early Monday, curious readers contacted Wausau Pilot and Review after seeing the banner, which announced Trader Joe’s would be “opening soon” at the former retail store, 325 S. 18th Ave., Wausau.
One reader snapped a photo of a man taking down the sign, and sent it to us.
But Bill Scholfield, of the Scholfield Group, said the sign was a prank placed on the building overnight that has since been removed. Scholfield is the broker for the property, which is expected to undergo renovations as the former store is repositioned. Shopko closed its doors in June after the company declared bankruptcy.
“We continue to have progress with the City on altering the site and are collecting retail, food, and medical prospects and intend to start the building and site re configuring this coming spring,” Scholfield wrote, in an email to Wausau Pilot and Review.
Trader Joe’s is a chain of grocery stores headquartered in Monrovia, California. By 2015, it was a competitor in “fresh format” grocery stores in the United States. As of November 2019, Trader Joe’s has 503 stores nationwide in 42 states and Washington, D.C. In Wisconsin, the company operates stores in Madison and Milwaukee.
Trader Joe’s spokeswoman Kenya Friend-Daniel said the company has no current plans to bring a store to the Wausau area.
“However, we are always looking for locations that would be a great fit, so while a store in Wausau is not a part of our current plans, that does not mean that couldn’t change in the future,” Friend-Daniel wrote, in an email to Wausau Pilot and Review.