Unusually long lines at Spring Street Trader Joe’s as coronavirus concerns increase

Outside the Spring Street Trader Joe's on Thursday morning. (Photos by Tequila Minsky)


Updated March 12, 2020, 5:35 p.m.: Between panic buying and people working at home — there was a run on food and supplies at the Trader Joe’s on Spring Street, usually the tranquil branch of Trader Joe’s.

They were lined up before the 8 a.m. opening of Trader Joe’s this morning. And by 10:45 a.m. there was a second wave rush—the moving line, above 15 minutes, with a stop for sanitizer before entering to shop.

Trader Joe’s wasn’t that crowded once inside but the line took four turns, past the soaps and toilet paper, past the samples and chips, into the bread and through the dairy, past the meat, turning at the nuts and turning again into the frozen food department. In all the line was about a 30 minute wait to check out.

Canned goods, potatoes, meats and frozen goods were among those at 4:30 p.m. not on the shelves or in frozen department bins at the Spring Street store. 

Empty shelves of meats.

Staff tried to restock as much as they could amidst the deluge of shoppers and assured this writer that a delivery comes early in the morning to almost completely restock the store.

While refilling a shelf holding potatoes, one worker said that in the last 10 days there was an observable increase in shoppers at this usually calm location, but “nothing was like today,” she said, explaining the rows of empty shelves.

The line to pay still snaked around the store but was half the length as earlier in the morning. 

Stocking up.

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