Why Trader Joe's Stands Out from All the Rest in the Grocery Business

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With 344 food stores in 25 states and Washington, D.C, Trader Joe’s is a perfect example of how to gain a competitive advantage in a crowded space by embracing the immigrant perspective. Trader Joe’s first opened its doors in 1967 in Southern California and today their circular vision to food retailing has kept their linear-thinking competitors on the run. In fact, they take pride in not doing (or following) what their competitors do. Photos: Dr. Oz's Bestselling Health Foods

Photos: In Pictures: 15 Big Companies That Understand Consumers

At a time of one of the most profound shifts in America’s population, Trader Joe’s has proven how cultural awareness can cultivate business growth, and a grass-roots marketing niche that draws viral consumer activity. As noted in a recent CNN article, Trader Joe’s is a quiet, private and savvy retailer. Their non-conventional culturally-tailored approach and attitude is one that is deeply embedded in the roots of their business model: from their packaging, product selection, store layout and graphics, to their vendors, employees and management. The Trader Joe’s brand is diversity on steroids.

Trader Joe’s is a treasure hunt for their consumers and they take pride in keeping the experience fresh and unique. Originality is their middle-name. From how they rotate product shelves and placement (they will literally change the schematic and traffic flow of their stores 180 degrees), to their unique product selections that are sourced from some of the most unfamiliar lands in the world, Trader Joe’s takes creativity and innovation to another level. Their average store size is 8000 to 12000 square feet and designed to be modular. This feature alone keeps competitors off-balance, because they can’t retaliate. At Trader Joe’s you feel that you are shopping in a high-end farmers market.

Trader’s Joes embodies the entrepreneurial spirit in everything they do (just like their Founding Father, Joe Coulombe). They are...
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