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What to expect when Trader Joe's opens in Tampa

Tampa fans of Trader Joe's, you may now start counting the days.

The quirky grocer with the rabid following of customers has set 8 a.m March 21 as the moment it will open the store in Tampa at Dale Mabry Highway and Swann Avenue.

“We're really excited and looking forward to being part of the neighborhood,” said Trader Joe's spokeswoman Alison Mochizuki.

Trader Joe's is typically secretive about how it operates stores, and new locations and opening dates are closely held secrets. Locations tend to be much smaller than a Publix or Wal-Mart Neighborhood Market grocery store.

Unlike large grocers, Trader Joe's specializes in quirky inventories, with many items under the company's brand name that only stay a few weeks in the aisle lineup before being cycled out.

Hiring formally began Tuesday for the site, and will continue through this week and next week for positions across the store. Applicants need to print out an application online at TraderJoes.com and bring it completed to the store at 3606 W. Swann Ave.

As for anyone hoping Trader Joe's will open more locations around town, don't expect many. Many markets the size of the Tampa Bay area often only have one or two stores, making them more of a destination for loyal customers. Only one more is likely set to open soon in the region, on Fourth Street near downtown St. Petersburg.

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