Trader Joe's is not your traditional grocery store. It does a lot of things differently, some good and some bad. It has very few branded goods. Trader Joes branding on manufactured Aldi goods. It sources many of its products from major manufactures. Such as Pepsi subbrand Naked smoothies ingredients identical to Trader Joe's smoothies. Trader Joe's can make things affordable by having private-label goods. Trader Joe's has a hawaiian theme and calls their employees captains and crewmates. This helps the idea that they have unique, diverse foods brought back from around the world. They seem to have local discoveries specially sourced that can't be found elsewhere. Trader Joe's is great at resourcing several specialized unique products such as naan bread frozen from India or frozen pizza from Italy. Customers feel like they found something others don't know about, which makes them feel special. They also have a low amount of items in the store so items switch often. This makes their products seem exclusive because that item may not be there when you go next time. Limited selection helps people have the perception of choice but a no-conflict experience. People are more confident when they have limited options. Trader Joe's has friendly workers that make you feel that you are valued. They have extensive customer service training and search for people to hire who are naturally empathetic and extroverted. They pay well to get good employees. Their handwritten signs makes the store feel local and market-like.
Trader Joe's had grown to have over 500 stores nationwide, is the highest-ranking national brand, and is now owned by Aldi since 1979. People often petition to have more Trader Joe's locations. Not an international brand yet.
One thing people love about Trader Joe's is their low pricing; it has value-conscious shoppers. They achieve low pricing by utilizing their partnership with Aldi to lock in lower-priced from suppliers. Also, the order in bulk because they have a limited selection. They only have 4,000 SKUs compared with other grocery stores that average 30,000 SKUs, and superstores like Costco have more than 100,000. People perceive Trader Joe's as having a higher quality, a lower price, and a high value.
They have no sales, no coupons, no loyalty rewards, and minimal advertising. They get most of their promotion from word of mouth and influencers.
They know they are not a one-stop shop because they are lacking in sections such as meat, toiletries, produce. They are almost an anti-grocery store because they have no branded goods, no sales, no coupons, no self-checkout, limited selection, no rewards, small isles, minimal advertising, disorganized staff schedule, poor restocking, bad at operations and JIT inventory, and overall just not good at being a grocery store. Trader Joe's isn't trying to be the best grocery store. They know that they do really well at what they do, which is creating a great and unique brand experience.