In a surprising press release this morning, Trader Joe’s announced they will be closing all 457 locations by January 2017. The company has been having financial problems for a while, and with online sales and so many new organic food stores opening competition has been incredibly stiff. The past year they have been slashing prices to combat their main competitor Whole Foods, however this was not enough to keep up.

“The competition has been steeper and steeper every quarter,” said CEO Dan Bane. “At this point, there isn’t enough cookie butter in the world to pave the road ahead.” They will start rolling out store closings in May of this year starting with Florida locations.

Trader Joe's

Photo by Sean Koetting

Despite widespread protests from consumers, Trader Joe’s has no plans to continue manufacturing or distributing any of its signature vegetarian, vegan, and organic products. According to John Mackey, co-founder and co-CEO of Whole Foods, they made an offer to continue carrying popular cookie butter brand Speculoos at Whole Foods stores nationwide, however Trader Joe’s declined this offer.

“We truly appreciated the offer,” said Bane. “But there is a time and a place for everything, and it appears our time has run out.” With Trader Joe’s gone, Whole Foods will corner the market on organic foods, but there is still time to stock up on your favorite TJ brands before stores close entirely.

Trader Joe's

Photo by Becky Hughes

If this shocking news hits you as hard as it hit me, fear not. It’s merely April Fools’ time. Now go celebrate being a fool with your favorite cheap wine.