Trader Joe

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  • Topic: Trader Joe's, Joe Coulombe, Theo Albrecht
  • Pages : 1 (427 words )
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  • Published : June 15, 2011
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Trader Joe's is named after its founder, Joe Coulombe. The chain began in 1958 as a Greater Los Angeles area chain of "Pronto Market" convenience stores. The original Pronto Markets were similar to 7-Eleven stores, so similar Coulombe felt the competition with 7-Eleven would be ruinous.[6]He is said to have developed the idea of the Trader Joe South Seas motif while on vacation in the Caribbean.[7] He had noticed that Americans were traveling more and returning home with tastes for food and wine they had trouble satisfying in supermarkets of the time.[8] The first store named "Trader Joe's" opened its doors in 1967. This store, on Arroyo Parkway in Pasadena, California, remains in operation. In response to competition from 7-Eleven, the chain differentiated its stores' offerings and doubled the floor space in 1967. In the first few decades of operation, some of the stores offered fresh meats provided by butchers who leased space in the stores. Trader Joe's at one time had sandwich shops, freshly cut cheese, and fresh squeezed orange juice. Theo Albrecht bought the company in 1979.[9] Coulombe was succeeded by John Shields in 1987; under his leadership the company expanded beyond California, moving into Arizona in 1993 and the Pacific Northwest two years later.[2] In 1996, the company opened its first stores on the East Coast, in Brookline and Cambridge, both outside Boston.[2] Shields retired in 2001, turning the reins over to Dan Bane. Shields still does consulting for the company. A Business Week article about the store noted that, between 1990 and 2001, the chain quintupled the store number and increased its profits by ten times.[5]Supermarket News estimates that Trader Joe's total sales for 2009 were $8 billion, which gave it a ranking of No. 21 on the list of "SN's Top 75 Retailers for 2011."[3] As of 2010, Trader Joe's sells what Fortune magazine estimated to be $1,750 in merchandise per square foot, more than double the sales generated by Whole Foods...
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