trader joe’s mission statement

trader joe’s mission statement

Table of Contents



Executive Summary


The Company 3

Mission Statement 3

Vision Statement 3

SWOT Analysis 4

The Product 5

Operations overview 6

Analysis of the Operations perspective

Stock and staff management for Operations

Staff Training, HQ





























Executive Summary (cath)


The following operations analysis will provide a comprehensive approach to the business performance of Trader Joe’and why this company had a successful and constant growth in the last ten years, and how they differentiate from the competitors.

It will take a closer look at the mission and vision statement, the foundations of the company as well, this document will do a SWOT analysis from a retail perspective…






















The Company


Trader Joe’s is an American chain of grocery stores, with over 503 stores nationwide in 42 states by November 2019. Joe Coulombe, the founder of this grocery chain, in 1958 acquired a small chain around the LA area under the name of “Pronto Markets,” the idea of Quick and fast markets. Still, Joe realized the idea was not taking any advantage of the future in California; he analyzed that the demographics were changing. He saw the opportunity to provide something different; in 1967 in Pasadena, California, The first Trader Joe’s grocery store influenced by the book “white shadows in the South Seas” and the Disneyland Jungle Trip ride, the Tiki and Polynesian culture presenting a new and fresh concept for a regular supermarket store.




To give our customers the best food and beverage values that they can find anywhere and provide them with the information required to make informed buying decisions. We provide these with a dedication to the highest quality of customer satisfaction delivered with a sense of warmth, friendliness, fun, individual pride, and company spirit.”


Trader Joe’s vision statement is unspecified, but its elements emerge in its targets; since 2001, when Dan Bane assumed the role of Chairman and CEO, he is committed to positioning Trader Joe’s as a leading chain of grocery stores nationwide. Also, Trader Joe’s announced their initiatives to improve the sustainability of product packaging.


SWOT Analysis for Trader Joe’s front the Retail perspective



Strengths Weaknesses

· Spend less on advertising and marketing on average than rival supermarket operators.

· Financial Support from Post Holding company Aldi Stores


· Geographically diverse with over 503 stores in the store in 42 states

Product Offerings

· Organic Products

· Low Prices – Competitive prices




· High perception of Brand Image

· Excellent Customer Service

· Perception of a healthy brand

· Unique Shopping atmosphere

· Constantly introducing new products


· Low turnover rates

· Promotions within the company

· Team culture

· Environmental responsable, Food waste, recycling and reusing policies


· Multiple Competitors

· Limited Product Selection

· Product Recalls

· Geographic Concentration


International Presence

· No international presence

New Store Introduction

· Betrayed customers seek new alternatives

· Conflicting management views regarding future expansion and vision of company operations


· Lack of loyalty programs

· System Technology

· E-commerce

· Digital Presence

Opportunities Threats
Organic Industry market

· Natural product sales increased over 40%

· Sustainability and Plant Based options are becoming essential for more and more consumers

Increasing Popularity of Own products

· Unique product offerings

· Invest and increase advertising spending

· Encourage, transmit and communicate the importance of eating healthily

· Diverse product offering

Room for further market penetration

· Supply Chain Expansion

· International Expansion

· Emerging millennial buyers support long-term sustainable growth of ethical and organic foods


· Whole Foods stores offer specialty foods with its limited assortment and private label strategy.

· Conventional supermarkets’s transition to the growing and profitable specialty grocer sub-industry

· Continued entrance of new competitors offering organic products

· Offer the product Online and/ or contactless options

Environmental Regulations

· Environmental factors causing food and product shortage

Economic Factors

· Inflation

· Consumer Trends and New concepts



The product Selection

Trader Joe’s has become one of the most popular grocery store chains in the United States in the last ten years, increasing their revenue year after year, which is very impressive for a “Neighbourhood Grocery store.” Trader Joe’s have not implemented a digital marketing strategy; their presence online is minimal; they do not have an online store. Also, they are keeping the stores very local; they do not use loyalty programs.

The secret of the competitive price that Trader Joe’s provide to their clients is on the chain supply and unique products; most of its products are from third-party manufacturers (including giants like PepsiCo. and Snyder’s-Lance). Different brands agree to sell some of their items under Trader Joe’s label. 80% of Trader Joe’s labels are repackaged, and the typical grocery store has 30,000 SKUs, on average. By procuring products directly from suppliers, distributing them through its centralized distribution network, and labeling them directly as Trader Joe’s brand, the store can offer the same quality for a much lower price (Dixon, V. 2017)


Other reasons are that Trader Joe’s have a great acceptance in the market; they divide the target clients in two and accordingly adjust to provide excellent value to them.

· Health-conscious: for which they offer natural and organic products, also with the eco-friendly policies, being a more sustainable store. This category includes also the vegan and vegetarian seekers.

· Bargain Shoppers: the store provides low prices which are very appealing to those type of clients

It is essential to highlight the shopping experience that goes together with added value; each store has a nautical theme and adapts to each location, complemented by different design elements.







See some examples of different product displays:


Examples of the store design, which made a unique experience and each are unique from the others

Trader Joe's Sign Art on Behance

  Coronavirus panic-buying hits Southern California supermarkets - Los  Angeles Times



Here are some examples of funny and distinctive signs around the TJ stores. A different way of advertisement, the sign plays with words, calling the attention of customers. It is also very unusual, they are hand-drawn which keep it more personal and support local artists.     


Trader Joe’s has a large selection of different healthy options dried fruit, snacks, nuts


Product selection

Trader Joe’s provides a big selection of Plant-based products and a very competitive price, which keeps them leading the market in this section and bringing value and constant innovation to their clients.

Especially in a growing market, Whether it’s health concerns, ethics, or sustainability, American diets are changing. While only 6% of Americans are vegetarian and 3% vegan, almost 40% are shifting toward eating more plant-based foods, according to a 2018 Nielsen Report.

Here some examples of the unique products that offer just at Trader Joe’s:








Staff members

— Operations



Aside from their supply chain Trader Joes invests a large amount of resources and time in training their employees. By doing so they are able to make their employees feel valued. Furthermore, Trader Joe’s employees are paid above industry-standard, and specialized training sessions welcome workers into the company culture before teaching them how to stock a shelf. Using survey data from 7,000 U.S. households, the firm ranked the country’s top 55 grocery store chains based on seven criteria points – price, quality, digital, operations, convenience, discounts and speed of shopping (Barrabi, T. 2019)Trader Joes provide competitive price and an overall positive experience for the customer and employees


As of 2019 trader joes has over 10,00 employees across 505 locations in the U.S. it is estimated that in 2019 Fiscal year Trader Joe’s made $13.7 Billion compared to Whole Foods that had 16.5 billion while costco made $110.5 Billion in-store sales (Clifford, C. 2020) Between 1990 and 2001, the number of Trader Joe’s stores quintupled and the company multiplied its profits by ten. In 2019, Trader Joe’s was ranked number 23 in best places to work in the United States by Glassdoor and in 2020, the company ranked number 14 (Investopedia. 2020) However Trader Joe’s is a privately held subsidiary of Post Holding Inc. Post Inc owns poupel companies such as Chips Ahoy, Honey Bunches of Oats, Hostess, Oreo O’s and many other brands.



Operations overview



Trader Joe’s is known for its low prices, and high-quality items. They manage to maintain both in a very unique way. Unlike most stores that are pushing towards digital engagement Trader Joe’s is more concentrated with the in-store experience it provides to its customers. In fact, when it comes to how things are run in stores Trader Joe’s lets their store managers run their own store, helping create that neighborhood grocery store approach. In other words, by using a decentralized approach Trader Joe’s enables each store to fit its neighborhood and customer needs the way they seem best fit. The reason behind their success is the flexibility of how many products they offer. Instead of purchasing brand name products, they go directly to the distributor and put their private label (company name) on the product which helps them cut cost and maintain that price flexibility. By doing this they are able return the savings to their customer and increase their profits. Not only are they flexible when it comes to products, but they are also flexible with their employees and their schedule. From the Trader Joe’s website, I was able to find out when you apply to work at Trader Joe’s you are able to let them know what days you can and can’t work as well as what hours you are available. This all together shows how flexible and ready for change Trader Joe’s is not only with their team members and products, but also with any new trends that might be emerging, they are ready.

Inventory management:

Inventory Management is something Trader Joe’s prides itself on by doing its best not only to find the best prices but also to find the best product and distributors. Trader Joe’s has a unique approach when it comes to food sampling stations (Yohn, D. L) which is that they do it a lot. But it is understandable because they are trying to push all their products. Trader Joe’s believes that less is more. They don’t buy too many similar products, instead they’ll buy less brand name items/brands and will buy directly from the distributor. By buying directly from these brand name distributors they are able to put their own private label on these products. Their unique private labeling helps cut cost when it comes to purchasing these products from the distributors directly and helps them create a name of their own. For instance, instead of buying pasta from Annie they will purchase the same pasta from the distributor and label it with their own name. This method contributes to how Trader Joes is able to keep their inventory so low because they have less SKUs to worry about and still have great quality products. Aside from this Trader Joe’s also has a unique layout at their locations, this helps them save even more money in inventory management because they are able to cut cost on storing extra items and push their own products more creating more sales for them.

Trader Joe’s also simplified their inventory strategy. Unlike other grocery stores that carry tons of product, Trader Joe’s limits how many products they offer in store. They believe that by offering less products they not only are able to push more of their inventory out but cut cost on buying any other unnecessary products. By using a Just in time (JIT) strategy when it comes to stocking, they are able to have just enough inventory ready for their customers, making sure they don’t waste any extra money when it comes to storing their produce as well as making sure they don’t let things go to waste. Trader Joe’s is known for offering products that they know their customers will purchase, and this is all thanks to their staff members and how they make customer satisfaction a top priority.

Supply Chain Management:

When it comes to supply chain management Trader Joe’s tries its best to not only provide the highest quality when it comes to the products they offer but they also try to get the best prices. Trader Joe’s does something that puts them ahead of others as well by not only making customer satisfaction a top priority, but by also having a strong emphasis on being kind to the environment, making shoppers want to shop there for even more reasons. Trader Joe’s follows the California Transparency of Supply Chain Act. This act ensures that all goods sold to Trader Joe’s were not processed, harvested, manufactured, packaged, labeled, transported, or delivered using forced or prison labor or forced or illegal child labor.

Trader Joe’s buys products directly from manufacturers and uses their own private label to help keep costs low and push their own brands. As shown in the image above Trader Joe’s has a vast variety of products, they offer under their own brand name. By doing this Trader Joe’s pushes their own products helping create a name for their brand. One that customers know will be of the best quality, all while managing to beat out the competition, despite having these name brands manufacturers produce their products. Trader Joe’s keeps a close relationship with every manufacturer and grower thus cutting out the middlemen(distributors) helping them keep their prices down. The supplier will send out their food directly to Trader Joe’s distribution center and Trader Joe’s will send out the product to their stores after. The products they buy they make sure they are produced in FDA or USDA licensed and approved facilities (Co, E.). What this does for them is ensure a type of quality that they will put out in their stores. Which helps attract customers to their location because they know they are getting good quality at a great price.


Besides customer satisfaction being one of the most important services Trader Joe’s offers they also have a strong focus on the food they offer and making sure it is top quality. They also offer a unique newsletter to their customers called The Fearless Flyer. This newsletter offers recipes, product origins and other insight that customers might find interesting. This is something unlike anything else. What other grocery store provides this unique service to its customers? By doing this Trader Joe’s is providing incentives/perks to its customers that choose to shop with them. Trader Joe’s offers you suggestions on what you can possibly be making that day for dinner or simply gives you ideas for ingredients that you can put together to make a dish. This service is something that you don’t see any other store do. If you go on Trader Joe’s website as well, you can find those suggestions and others as well. Smaller facilities help Trader Joe’s have a more personal feeling with a sort of neighborhood aspect to the point where you have almost a farmer’s market feel is just another one of the many services that Trader Joe’s offers. By cutting costs and going directly to the manufacturer they help save you money and still offer you top quality products.

Managers & Workers:


When it comes to hiring personnel, Trader Joe’s takes their time and won’t rush the process. They feel that it is necessary to have the right people to perform the job adequately. At the end of the day, they are the ones that are in charge of running this store, whether it be creating the signs we see at the store advertising their products or helping customers out on a daily basis they do it all. With the freedom they are given to make decisions on the products they carry thanks to the decentralized type approach they use; it is important that they hire the right people. When you allow management to have this type of decentralized control over a store you learn a couple of things. One, you learn what people want in store, this has an impact on your inventory cost because by knowing your customers preferences you know what you should and shouldn’t order. In return this has a positive effect on your profit. This also helps your employees morale and it shows, about 89% of the workers would recommend Trader Joe’s as a place to work.

The food sampling stations help Trader Joe’s discover if there are any new niches in the market which helps them stay ahead of the game. As they continue to make these shifts, they are keeping in mind what it is they can do to better serve their customers, because at the end of the day Trader Joe’s believe that their brand is their name. Their brand being not only the service they provide to their customers but also the products they provide and the “experience” they provide. The flexibility, service, and inventory are all made possible by the managers and workers they hire. Trader Joe’s prides itself on many things, one being the team members they hire.

Analysis of the Operations perspective


Trader Joe’s main goal is to minimize cost for themselves which in turn allows them to help cut cost for their customers. They are able to do this through their unique strategic operations starting with how they conduct business with their manufacturers. Trader Joe’s does something that other retailers don’t do, they go directly to the manufacturer of the product cutting out the middleman. They also cut down on how many brand name items and brands they care in their stores (Ciment, S.). They believe that less is more, and it is understandable. When you give customers too many options not only are you making it harder for them to choose what it is they want to buy, but you are also adding all this cost of storing all these extra products. Money that you could be using to increase salaries for your employees to boost their morale or to get top brand products for your customers. The less products they carry the more sales they have of the products they carry which happens to be their own privatized label. The fact that these products are their own brand shows customers that they offer high quality items at a reasonable price and it makes it easier for their customers to trust their brand and store. Trader Joe’s feels that they don’t need to increase their internet presence, because most customers that shop at their store are shopping there because they heard good things about their store through word of mouth, which is how they do most of their advertising. But when we look at the current pandemic and an increasing trend people are doing more and more grocery shopping at either fewer stores or do more online shopping which has increased 28% (Redman,R). Their name does do a lot for them, but it wouldn’t hurt increasing their online presence as a new opportunity for them to increase sales.


Trader Joe’s also does something that you don’t really see any other store do, which as mentioned is using their private labeling on goods. What this allows them to do as mentioned is cut cost when it comes to purchasing goods from their manufacturers. They don’t have to pay that extra cost for the brand name items and are still able to get the same high-quality items for a fraction of the price. They also tend to have smaller packaging and cut the use of plastic when it comes to packaging their fruits and vegetables. Trader Joe’s has a couple of key competitive priorities as mentioned, cutting cost, helping customers save money, minimizing the amount of products they carry in store, and maintaining high quality when it comes to the products they offer, as well as their customer service are just a few ways they try to stay competitive. Trader Joe’s is known as a great company to work for and this makes it easier for the company to not only keep personnel on but makes people recommend them at an 89% rate as a place to work at. They also promote from within which makes sense from a management point of view because they already cross train their employees so why not train them in new areas making them that much more intrigued in their job. With the loose decentralized approach of management they use when it comes to running their location, it is better when you have someone there that knows what it is they are doing and is willing to learn more.


Stock and staff management for Operations


When it comes to the stock Trader Joe’s uses the Just in Time system to get their products to their locations. This is something they have found great success from using and one can see why. The biggest reason they use this is because it helps them increase efficiency and decrease waste of items, by only receiving items when they are needed. This is useful for Trader Joe’s because as we know their main priority is cut cost any way possible, whether it be saving money in purchasing items by going directly to the manufacturers or by cutting cost when it comes to storing extra items in their stores. Some might say that they could be losing out on business by not having all these extra items in their stores but by looking at Trader Joe’s records they are actually one of the most profitable grocery stores out there selling $2,000/sq ft in groceries compared to Whole Foods who sells $1,200 (Ryan, J.). Less SKUs for them to worry about makes delivery of their products much easier, and less options means their customer purchases more of the select items they carry. This all contributes to making Trader Joe’s such a profitable grocery store, along with how they use their staff.

Trader Joe’s takes pride with the staff members they hire and won’t rush when it comes to making any decisions on who they hire. This is because they feel it is important to hire the right people to run their location, which is an example every company should follow. They give their employees the freedom to run the store the way they seem best. This method works out for them because their employees are fully engaged with customers and know what it is that their customers that shop their what or expect to find at the store. This is possible thanks to them having less SKUs to worry about as well. Which lets the employees recommend certain products to customers as well, allowing them to know more about their customers likes and needs. They focus so much on their personnel as well because all of the promotions they do are from within their organization. They cross train all their employees to make sure they can handle any task that may present itself. This allows them to prepare them for their next role in the company as well. Trader Joe’s not only heavily compensates their employees whether it be their salary or benefits such as their contribution to their employees 401k, they also give their employees the freedom to choose their schedule. What other company gives their employees this type of leeway when it comes to scheduling. Granted the schedule has to work for Trade Joe’s as well, but by having this freedom the morale of their employees is higher and you can notice it.



After analyzing the business operations of Trader Joe’s, the recommendations suggested for the company are to continue expanding in their private labeling, push for creating more of a digital presence while focusing on keeping customer privacy a top priority and keep giving their employees the freedom to run their locations the way they seem best fit. The biggest reason a business exists is to make money plain and simple. Trader Joe’s private labeling helps them keep costs low which increases profits for the company. More profits are always good news for a company. So why not look into potentially expanding on items they already have/use their private label on, to the point where the store could become their brand. They can even look into possibly buying their own farmland to grow these items becoming their own distributor for a vast number of products.

Trader Joe’s website already offers certain features, so why not expand to having your own app, personalized for every store. As customers increase online shopping it makes sense to look into the possibility. As stated early there has been a 28% increase in online grocery shopping and people are now having their groceries delivered straight to their house. Walmart already offers curbside pickup, and they are now coming out with their Walmart+ service which will offer unlimited deliveries straight to your house. Amazon is opening up Amazon fresh locations and are offering same day delivery on certain products depending when they are ordered. They also don’t have any cashiers, instead you are charged at the end after all your items are scanned and put in your shopping cart. Trader Joe’s can see about what improvement it is that their customers would enjoy the most whether it be the faster check out or having an app that they can use that offers other services within the app that are already on their website like recipes they offer and expand on it.

Their use of decentralized management has helped them create a great work environment as well as that neighborhood-like feeling that Trader Joe’s is known for. They have an 89% recommendation rate on glass door, and it is easy to see why. Besides the great benefits they offer their crew members they also give them the opportunity to grow within the company, by promoting within. Their use of decentralized management helps prepare their staff for future roles by making sure they are all cross trained and capable of doing the job. When you allow management to have control over the store, they are able to see what areas they can improve in and how they can better develop their personnel. This helps create a smooth-running operation for Trader Joe’s. They don’t have a certain “set of rules” they have to follow instead management is in charge of running the store the way they seem best. The biggest area of focus they have to worry about is creating a great customer experience that makes you want to continue doing business with them and even makes you want to tell your friends and family about Trader Joe’s.

The biggest area of opportunity I would say Trader Joe’s has is expanding their online presence, followed by expanding in their private label products, and lastly continuing their use of decentralized management in their stores. If they take the next step in improving any of these three areas, I can see their profits easily increasing. The simple fact of providing online shopping creates a new stream of business that they never had before. Granted their main concern is keeping prices low and doing this could increase cost but you have to be willing to spend money to make money. An increase in their private labeling of products they offer is another way their profits can see an increase. Completely cutting out the middleman and being their own provider will create new jobs and help them create a bigger brand than the one they are already known for. Lastly by giving their crew more freedom to run the store can also help Trader Joe’s figure out what it is exactly that their customers from certain stores are interested in and what it is they can go without, helping cut cost and waste.









Ciment, S. (2019, August 15). We went to Trader Joe’s and found 7 main reasons why so many people are obsessed with the quirky grocer.

Co, E. (2016, June 29). The Truth Behind Trader Joe’s Low Prices.

Ryan, J. (n.d.). The Surprising Secrets Behind Trader Joe’s Supply Chain.

Yohn, D. L. (2018, June 13). Six Surprising Facts That Explain Trader Joe’s Secrets To Success.

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