Trader Joe’s, a national retail grocery store targets consumers through its promising mission statement, “At Trader Joe’s, our mission is to bring all our customers the best food and beverage values to be found anywhere, and the information to make informed buying decisions,” (Trader Joe’s). The mission statement stresses the importance of a relationship between employees and consumers. The employee and consumer relationship is strengthened in understanding how Trader Joe’s differs from other retail stores in contributing to Trader Joe’s success. Starting since 1967, Trader Joe’s aimed to separate itself from other retail grocery stores. Trader Joe’s first started off as a convenience store and transformed to an “adventurous food and beverage,” (Mallinger, 2007). The company began with seventeen stores located in California. Today Trader Joe’s contains over two hundred and seventy stores among twenty two states (Mallinger, 2007). Trader Joe’s maintains a successful business today by following a consistent strategic plan tying back to the Trader Joe’s Mission Statement. Trader Joe’s is unlike other retail grocery stores because the store aims to provide an extraordinary shopping experience unable to be found anywhere else. First off, seventy five percent of products derive from the Trader Joe’s label. In addition, a wide variety of products are constantly compared to its competitors Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. Unlike competitors, studies show that Trader Joe’s offers products at much more reasonable costs in comparison to other stores. Also, Trader Joe’s products are noted as flavorful while being filled with health benefits. The store continues to deliver a unique shopping experience to consumers
by diversifying the product selection. Trader Joe’s diversifies its product selection because it does not offer a product surplus, which are usually available in typical grocery stores (Trader Joe’s). The reasoning behind Trader Joe’s success is evident in its consumer and employee relationship. The consumer and employee relationship continues to grow with the following factor visible in the mission statement; the return policy. The Trader Joe’s website states, “Our product guarantee: We tried it. We liked it! If you don’t, bring it back for a full refund, no questions asked!” (Trader Joe’s). The following mission statement instills a sense of trust upon consumers. Trust is a vital quality in building an effective business. Promising full refund returns secures a trust upon Trader Joe’s consumers. If a consumer feels comfortable shopping consumers with return to Trader Joe’s. Promising a refund policy defines the importance of consumers. Trader Joe’s continues to successfully achieve its strategy by providing a unique shopping experience which includes catering to the needs of consumers. Trader Joe’s produces a strong reputation through an alternate method of marketing. The Trader Joe’s method of marketing does not include advertising, store coupons, and Trader Joe’s cards. The retail grocery store heavily depends on its consumer relations. An example of relying on consumer relations is evident in the “Frequent Flyer.” The “Frequent Flyer” is a newsletter produced by Trader Joe’s. The newsletter informs consumers about upcoming products and store openings. The newsletter is available via email and mail (Palmeri, 2008).
Trader Joe’s also strengthens its consumer and employee relationship by building an interactive community to consumers. Trader Joe’s CEO Dan Bane says employees are instructed to “act as if your customer is looking over your shoulder all of the time,” (Mallinger, 2007). If consumers have either a question concerning a product or unsure of a product’s location in the store employees make an effort to help consumers. Also, if consumers are unsure of a products flavor, an employee has the right to open the product and distribute tasting samples to consumers. The interactive shopping experience separates Trader Joe’s from its competitors like Whole Foods and Bristol Farms. Trader Joe’s offers consumers with an experience that is not found in most stores. For example, most stores do not have the right to open products to sample a taste. However, Trader Joe’s condones and encourages the distribution of sample tests to raise awareness about a product. An additional factor contributing to Trader Joe’s store distinction is the environment that consumers are exposed to. Employees were Hawaiian shirts, rustic paintings hang from the walls, and managers sit in a Hawaiian straw hut. The environment builds a unique vibe that directly impacts the shopping experience. Building a strong consumer to employee relationship begins at the heart of the company; the employees. Therefore, an employee’s attitude and work ethic is reflected through the way companies treat its team. The employees share a direct impact on Trader Joe’s. Trader Joe’s employees are recognized for their upbeat attitudes. The company follows an effective strategy by providing employees with health care benefits. Health care benefits are not limited to full time employees, but are also offered to part time employees (Pamleri, 2008).
During the present time, Trader Joe’s continues to thrive in success. Multiple Trader Joe’s stores can be found across the nation. Trader Joe’s will thrive in success for the many years to come because it truly values its consumers. The importance of consumerism is visible in the “Frequent Newsletter” and the employees’ dedication to the consumer. Consumers will return to a store in which they feel valued and appreciated.