Columbia Grocers Prepare to Battle for Shoppers


A food fight is looming in Columbia as Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s prepare to enter the market.

And the winner will be you, analysts say, as grocers duke it out for your dollars.

“The ultimate winner is going to be the consumer,” said Tim Sperry, a Boston-based consultant in the natural foods industry and a former grocery director for Whole Foods. “They’re going to get all sorts of new choices. It forces existing retailers to get smarter.”

Whole Foods will open Thursday in a revamped Cross Hill Market at the intersection of Fort Jackson Boulevard and where Devine Street becomes Garners Ferry Road. Trader Joe’s is scheduled to open in the first few months of next year a couple of miles away, in the former Columbia Athletic Club on Forest Drive.

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