Inside the secret world of Trader Joe’s

Not brand-new, but worth reading if you missed it (and especially for those who pine for a TJ’s here): A rare inside look at the Trader Joe’s model.


Author: Scott

I am a married father of two. I graduated from Rock Bridge High School and then Mizzou before spending six years in the Washington, D.C. area. We returned to Columbia, Missouri in 2006.

3 thoughts

  1. Something’s up with the link, though I found the piece anyway with a quick Google.

    Having only been into a TJ once (in VA), this was interesting. We didn’t think much of our visit, getting the initital impression of a place that was all trend and no cattle, so to speak. Everyone raves about their prices, but even then we were concerned about the hidden reality that allows those prices to happen for otherwise high-end food (as the article obliquely notes). When I see low prices, I immediately look for the man behind the curtain, because there are basic economics to food that don’t change regardless of coupons or ad claims. When prices go down, something’s (or someone) is accounting for that somewhere else.

    Balancing that, this piece gave me a better sense of how and why they use that model, and there are some good aspects (less marketing gimmicks, direct supply lines) that increase efficiency. I do heartily approve of a business model that relies on revenue, not debt, to drive and fund growth. We’d be in a much better place overall if that was a wider-held practice.

    Very well-done piece, lots of information and balance, really worth reading. Gave me a lot to think about. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Sorry, link fixed. I’m not part of the Trader Joe’s Super Fan Club, but I enjoyed stopping in there once in a while when we had one nearby. Prices were good and they had a nice selection of frozen fish, some vegetables, other interesting ingredients. That’s been years; I might like it more nowadays.

  3. Their fish is definitely the reason to go in my opinion. They have great prices on wild caught fish so we stock up whenever we are in St. Louis. I also like their simmer sauces, Lemongrass Stix, and Indian food packets.

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