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(The New Yorker)   Trader Joe sounds like he was surprisingly decent and self-aware guy   (newyorker.com) divider line
    More: Cool, Business, Joe Coulombe, Grocery store, Trader Joe's, Trader Joe, grocery-business notoriety, buoy Coulombe's stores, Business ethics  
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782 clicks; posted to Business » on 26 Oct 2021 at 3:29 PM (5 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



19 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2021-10-26 2:40:53 PM  
great place to watch for yoga pants.
 
2021-10-26 3:32:05 PM  
I like Trader Joe's. But while we have 2 of them here, one is 15 miles, which can be 30 minutes away. The other is 18 miles, and also easily 30 minutes.
 
2021-10-26 3:35:25 PM  
It was sold to Aldi North, the stores named Aldi is Aldi South, a different company.

Since I live in Denmark, we have Aldi North. Its interesting to see a lot of "exotic" stuff branded as Trader Joe's.

I think they try to use the Trader Joe's brand as being one of their higher quality labels.
 
2021-10-26 3:37:20 PM  
The book is a sort of "Kitchen Confidential" for the grocery business, but without the drugs or rage.

So, absolutely nothing like Kitchen Confidential, but hey, you threw in some keywords
 
2021-10-26 3:42:29 PM  
Forty years ago, a buyer for Trader Joe's found some port that had be laid down in 1965 and forgotten by the winery.  TJ's bought and bottled it (1982). I have one bottle left out of two cases. The second to the last was consumed at our 11th wedding anniversary party. It was supposed to be the tenth, but you know.

The last bottle will be consumed at our 20th.

They don't seem to have interesting items like that any more.  I used to drive from Las Vegas to San Bernardino (227 miles each way) about once a month to hit TJ's. Now I live five minutes from one and go once or twice a year.
 
2021-10-26 3:54:24 PM  
The main appeal of TJ's appears to be snacks and frozen meal kits.  I'm not in the target market.
 
2021-10-26 4:19:53 PM  
"their produce is hot garbage but they have the cereal my kids like.  plus, no one honks in the parking lot when i block three directions of traffic because I'm waiting for a parking spot by the door."
 
2021-10-26 4:31:12 PM  

Bowen: Thank You Black Jesus!: "their produce is hot garbage but they have the cereal my kids like.  plus, no one honks in the parking lot when i block three directions of traffic because I'm waiting for a parking spot by the door."

Every Trader Joe's in America has a tragically under-sized and poorly designed parking lot.


I just went to the one near me but not by car for precisely this reason. Also, using a backpack as my bag helps me cut down on spending since it all has to fit.

I'm a single guy that hates to cook so their frozen stuff is a godsend. I can eat healthy for reasonable prices.
 
2021-10-26 4:40:53 PM  

Bowen: Thank You Black Jesus!: "their produce is hot garbage but they have the cereal my kids like.  plus, no one honks in the parking lot when i block three directions of traffic because I'm waiting for a parking spot by the door."

Every Trader Joe's in America has a tragically under-sized and poorly designed parking lot.


We shopped at "TJs" 30 years ago, when I don't think it extended much beyond southern california. I assumed the small lots then were just the best they could do with small stores, limited budgets, and expensive real estate. But it's clearly become a big part of the brand for some reason.

So I don't visit much any more. Back then, they were still doing frequent clearances of failed supermarket products, which were usually great deals while they lasted. Now they seem to have very stable inventory with a lot of their own brands.
 
2021-10-26 6:30:33 PM  
I thought they were a front for some kind of cult
 
2021-10-26 6:57:29 PM  
He reasoned that employee turnover was the biggest cost to his business, and by paying his workers high wages and offering them excellent benefits he would ultimately reduce his costs.

Fool. Didn't he realize that Wall Street won't reward a company that isn't constantly cutting payroll costs?
 
2021-10-26 7:11:24 PM  
Use to shop there all the time.  Now the closest is 30 minutes away.  Stock up on stuff we like.

All accounts he was a good guy.
 
2021-10-26 7:11:39 PM  
And Sam Walton was really in favor of "Buy American", which was completely jettisoned about 15 minutes after they put him in the ground in 1992.  Both are interesting history and not particularly relevant to today's companies or economy.
 
2021-10-26 7:35:47 PM  
That was a good read. Thank you subby!
 
2021-10-26 7:56:02 PM  

Billy Liar: I thought they were a front for some kind of cult


Yes, a cult for people who like to get good deals and shop somewhere where the employees are compensated pretty decently.  I tried to link to an article saying their average was from $12-$15 per hour in 2019.

They upped pay by $4 during the pandemic, too.  Up $2 at the start and then again earlier this year.

Admittedly, the decor can be a bit much but the free samples usually distract me.  If more places could have a coffee sample at every location, I'd be okay with that.

/Aldi is run by the same family and also has a rep for both good prices and pay rates
 
2021-10-26 8:24:23 PM  
I prefer Trader Vic
 
2021-10-26 10:55:48 PM  

Bowen: Thank You Black Jesus!: "their produce is hot garbage but they have the cereal my kids like.  plus, no one honks in the parking lot when i block three directions of traffic because I'm waiting for a parking spot by the door."

Every Trader Joe's in America has a tragically under-sized and poorly designed parking lot.


I've been to TJ's in Boston, West Hartford, Denver, SLC, Minnesota, Spokane, Seattle, and some random one off of I-90 in... Indiana? Illinois? The only lot that didn't suck was in Minnesota.
 
2021-10-27 2:03:06 AM  
"This meant that Pronto Markets could sell extra-large eggs-which were twelve per cent per dozen larger than the large eggs, a meaningful difference to customers-at a discounted price, undercutting other chains."

Is that why jumbo eggs at Trader Joe's are still like 50% cheaper than the major chains?
 
2021-10-27 3:36:11 PM  

Dr. DJ Duckhunt: That was a good read. Thank you subby!


I agree!  He reminds me of the people described in the book 'Outliers', which was a great read itself about being the right person at the right time.
 
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