Your social media feed or inbox may be blowing up with a rapidly spreading Yahoo story that Trader Joe’s will close all their stores by 2017.
Thankfully for Trader Joe’s lovers, it’s an early April Fools' Day joke.
Sending the Internet into a near-panic, Yahoo shared an article titled, “Trader Joe’s to Close All Stores by 2017, Plans to Discontinue Products” on March 31:
"In a surprising press release this morning, Trader Joe’s announced they will be closing all 457 locations by January 2017. 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."
At the end of the article, the author writes, “If this shocking news hits you as hard as it hit me, fear not. It’s merely April 1st. Now go celebrate being a fool with your favorite cheap wine.”
Yahoo eventually removed the article from its website.
In a statement to Newsday, a Yahoo spokesperson said, "This particular story was published to Yahoo from a partner, Spoon University, and was immediately removed once the team was made aware of the ruse."
Trader Joe's said in a statement it had no involvement with the hoax, and wants to assure its customers it's not closing its doors for business.
"Although we don’t take ourselves too seriously, we don’t want anyone to mislead our customers," said Alison Mochizuki, Trader Joe's national director of public relations. "Trader Joe’s is open for business and has no plans to close. We had no involvement whatsoever in the April Fool’s hoax article."
Accident or not, the Internet reacted swiftly, including a series of tweets from model and television star Chrissy Teigen.
“there is no ‘early’ april fools joke. u can start effing with ppl/planting seeds but NO EARLY PUNCHLINES,” Teigen wrote on Twitter. “this freakin world i'll tell ya.”
“Come on, @YahooNews: posting an #AprilFools story about #TraderJoes closing all stores... a day early? Bad form,” CNN entertainment reporter David Daniel tweeted.