Yuppies terrified after 'news' that Trader Joe's is closing forever

Yahoo Pulls Off Cruel Trader Joe's Prank

The calendar still said it was March, but Yahoo has pulled off what's sure to go down as one of the cruelest April Fools' Day pranks of the year.

A convincing imitation of a news article posted to the site's style section on Thursday claimed that Trader Joe's would be closing all of its stores nationwide within the next year.

SEE ALSO: Virgin America's new 'logo' is a booby trap

Food writer Delaney Strunk plugs through more than 200 words of fake news copy with unflinching seriousness before revealing the deception at the very end of the article

(Of course, quotes like, "At this point, there isn't enough cookie butter in the world to pave the road ahead" might have raised some eyebrows.)

While Yahoo took down the post, we've posted screenshots in its entirety below.

People understandably freaked out -- some because of the premature timing of the gag and others because they actually thought their favorite grocery chain was going under.

People freak out over Trader Joe's prank (2016)
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Yuppies terrified after 'news' that Trader Joe's is closing forever
i want to be sad about trader joe's but that place was always weird and creepy too me. except their cookie butter.
there is no "early" april fools joke. u can start effing with ppl/planting seeds but NO EARLY PUNCHLINES. this freakin world i'll tell ya
April Fool’s news “pranks” are the worst, part 1,000,000 https://t.co/Afq9uasiXv
IT IS NOT APRIL 1 YET! STOP! https://t.co/7xGDXK4pLa
Trader Joe's PR team https://t.co/ZOI8rIgt3f
It’s not April 1st, @YahooStyle so I DON’T APPRECIATE FAKE ARTICLES ABOUT TRADER JOE’S CLOSING https://t.co/n6ArvIIO6D

A 2013 analysis of articles at Slate found that the average reader only reads about halfway through any given news article before leaving the page. Fewer still make it all the way to the end.

That fact, combined with the early date, make this an especially diabolical hoax.

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