The Secrets Behind Why Trader Joe's Stands Apart From the Others

There is a reason that there is almost a cult-like following to Trader Joe's. Once people go once, they are hooked for life! I think that is because they offer a different shopping experience than their competitors. Their staff are all incredibly knowledgeable and friendly, their store is small and easy to locate what you are looking for, their prices are affordable, and their food is fresh and often free of preservatives and other yuckies.

Here are a few other reasons they stand out from the others.

Every Crew Member Does the Same Job. First of all you might be wondering what a crew member is. They refer to their team members as "crew members" to stick with their nautical theme. And each crew member learns every position in the store, from checking customers out, to stocking shelves and produce. This is so they can help each other and customers at any given time.

They Hire Artists to Create Their Chalkboard Signs. If you've ever seen their beautiful signs and wondered how they do it--every store hires an artist or two that makes all those cool signs. This isn't their only job--they work as crew members inside the store as well.

They Have a Podcast. Because who doesn't these days?! :) They have a podcast called Inside Trader Joe's, giving the stories some of the new and beloved products including the story behind "Two Buck Chuck".

You Can Try Before You Buy In a Cool Way! If you want to try a product before you buy it, a crew member will literally open up any package so you can try it first. Pretty cool! And of course if you don't like a product you purchased they will take anything back.

How Do They Determine What Will be The New Products on the Shelves? They have a tasting panel in their headquarters in Monrovia, California where they try out the products together, share their opinions and determine if these products are good enough to hit the shelves. In one of their podcast episodes, I listened to them taste and review some cinnamon sugar Jo-Joes and that was fun and interesting to hear the behind the scenes for that kind of thing.

What's With the Bells? Sticking with the nautical theme, they decided to use bells to communicate with each other in the store rather than a typical loudspeaker system to keep the experience chill and unique for the customer. One ring means "all hands on deck" and anyone who is free to go help checkout customers at the front should do so. Two rings means someone needs assistance, or perhaps a cleanup on aisle 3. Three bells means a manager, AKA a mate, is needed.

The Price of Bananas Has Stayed at 19 Cents Each for 13 Years!! Just because they are awesome like that! That is dirt cheap. You could make a whole lotta banana bread for just a couple bucks!

The Crew Truly Knows Their Stuff. Whenever I shop there it seems everyone knows everything about every product. That is because they do product tastings in the back for all the new products, which are led by various members of the crew.

Do you enjoy shopping at Trader Joe's? If you have never been, I would highly recommend checking it out!


    Mary Richardson
    Weekly Newsletter Contributor since 2014
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