Our primary goal is to:
- Convince Trader Joe’s to open a store in Central Illinois.
We plan to accomplish this by:
- Getting 5,000 signatures on our petition. The purpose of this is to show Trader Joe’s and the city leadership that they can’t afford to ignore our city as a location for Trader Joe’s. While there have been other smaller efforts in the past, this is the largest, best organized effort to date.
- Using every manner of social media on the internet to further our cause and glean the most signatures possible! We are currently on Twitter and Facebook, and want the word to spread about what we’re doing. This will exponentially multiply the number of people involved in the campaign to bring TJ’s to our area.
- Making our efforts mainstream. We’d like to get this movement on the campuses of the University of Illinois, Parkland, Eastern Illinois University, and any other platforms. We feel that Trader Joe’s will positively impact large segments of our community (students as well as full-time residents) and want to see this movement brought to every possible location.
- Get developers involved with making bids. There are local developers who have pursued Trader Joe’s in the past, and we would like to solicit their help in showcasing attractive locations for our Trader Joe’s store.
Ultimately, we will:
- Take our petition and research (yes, we’ve done research!) to the leaders of our community. We feel that Champaign-Urbana is missing out on a huge source of potential revenue by ignoring our area as a location for Trader Joe’s (many people drive out to Indy or Chicago to purchase hundreds of dollars worth of food from Trader Joe’s – this is money that could be spent in our local community, which would bring tax dollars to our city. Trader Joe’s is also a notoriously good employer, and having a local store would provide solid, well-paying jobs for people in our area). If we can show the city leadership how viable and important a source of revenue Trader Joe’s would be and get them on board with our efforts, they could in turn work with us to get a Trader Joe’s here.
- Present a package of our work to the Trader Joe’s corporation. This will include the petition (proving the market), the developer bids (proving the good locations), and the support of local government (proving just how serious we are). This will be submitted like a business proposal, complete with links to all the social media and reference to all the places we have posted/printed this campaign.
Other communities around the country have run similar organized campaigns that have successfully brought Trader Joe’s to their areas. We are in conversation with some of those community-led organizers to see what has been effective. We believe this plan will work to bring Trader Joe’s to Central Illinois, if we are able to get the widespread exposure necessary to make the big impact we desire.
We need people to help with these goals. Please see the “Be Involved!” section for ways that you can contribute to bringing Trader Joe’s to Central Illinois.