T&T’s Bellevue location will be largest Asian grocery store in Washington state.
It’s official: Canada’s fastest-growing Asian retailer, T&T Supermarkets, is coming to the United States. The ethnic grocer has revealed that it will open a flagship store in the Seattle area during summer 2024. As it expands operations into the United States, the retailer will also establish a regional office in the greater Los Angeles area.
Based in Richmond, British Columbia, T&T Supermarkets is the largest Asian supermarket chain in Canada, operating stores in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario and Quebec. The stores feature an expansive variety of fresh produce, meat, seafood, Asian packaged goods, and trendy kitchenware and gifts, as well as in-store kitchens and bakeries. T&T was founded in Vancouver, British Columbia, in 1993 and is now led by second-generation successor and CEO Tina Lee. In 2009, the company was acquired by Loblaw Cos. Ltd.
“We know the love for T&T transcends borders. It’s not unusual to see U.S. license plates in the parking lots of our British Columbia stores, with hundreds of customers regularly making the drive for our food,” said Lee. “After 30 successful years in Canada, we couldn’t be more excited to bring our unique offering closer to home for customers in the United States.”
T&T Supermarkets CEO Tina Lee
The new U.S. store will be located at 12620 SE 41st Place, Bellevue, Wash., in the Marketplace at Factoria – a shopping, food and entertainment center. At 76,000 square feet, it will be the largest Asian supermarket in the state. The location will feature a sushi counter, a hot-food bar, a noodle station and an in-store kitchen and bakery for freshly prepared delicacies like steam buns and pork belly bao, as well as Asian pastries and cakes. It will also be home to more than 300 of T&T’s private label products, including customer favorites like green onion pancakes, Korean kalbi marinade, pork dumplings and seaweed snacks.
“T&T’s anchor tenancy at Marketplace at Factoria begins an exciting chapter for the property, which includes new residential, retail and dining experiences,” noted Carmen Decker, president of Kimco Realty’s Western Region. “We search the globe for best-in-class retailers to elevate the shopping experience within our centers and are excited to welcome such an iconic Canadian brand to our retail collection.”
T&T is currently hiring for store positions at the Bellevue location as well as positions like buyers and category managers at the Los Angeles regional office.
As discussed in Progressive Grocer’s "Multicultural Grocers Drive Sales by Catering to Increasingly Diverse America," ethnic food retailers such as T&T are growing revenue and footprints as demographic changes and younger consumers’ interest in global cuisines drive multicultural grocery shopping. The multicultural grocery market, estimated at $50 billion, is growing by nearly 2% a year, positioning these retailers to be a major area of growth in the supermarket industry for years to come.