Trader Joe’s

“Value” is what they take seriously at Trader Joe’s. That means great every day prices, without sales and gimmicks. They provide great value by buying direct from suppliers whenever possible. If an item is “pulling its weight” it’s sold quickly and they buy in volume to save money.

About Trader Joe’s

Back in the 1950’s was when their story began. Back then, all they were was a small chain of convenient stores called Pronto Markets. In 1967 they changed their name to Trader Joe’s and the way they did business. Their stores became bigger, more innovative, and began including foods that were hard to find.

Trader Joe’s is a privately held chain of specialty grocery stores. They are headquartered in Monrovia, California. About half of its stores are still in California, most of which are located in Southern California, but now it has locations in 28 other states and Washington D.C. The original “Trader Joe” was named Joe Coulombe who set up the store with a family trust fund.

Trader Joe’s has some unconventional ways to get things done, like using bells to communicate. They also have a long-standing tradition of wearing Hawaiian shirts. All in all, they do what they set out to do: get things done while saving customer’s money and watching out for their health in the process.

Stats

Annual Sales – By the end of the fiscal year 2010, the company reached $8.0 billion in total sales, and holds 1.1% of the retail grocery market.

States Serviced – Trader Joe’s currently operates in 28 U.S. states.

Store Locations

Currently there are 350 stores throughout the United States. Most of them are in Southern California.

Community Programs

In 2010, Trader Joe’s donated 25 million pounds of food. That is 656 truckloads and 20 million meals, according to the website. Their policy is to donate products that are not fit for sale but safe for consumption. Each store has its own Donation Coordinator who works with local food bank, food pantries, and/or soup kitchens in the area to facilitate donations seven days a week. The store chain also often donates to community events.

Brands

Trader Joe’s carries various brands, but they also carry their own brand. If you see Trader Joe’s label on a package you can be sure it contains no artificial flavors, colors, or preservatives. There are no MSG or genetically modified ingredients, and no trans fats.

Other Facts about Trader Joe’s

  • Trader Joe’s began in Pasadena, California (1967). It was the best spot to get wine. The original store is still at that location.
  • The first time a Hawaiian Shirt was worn in a Trader Joe’s was 1969.
  • The maritime bell was used for the first time in 1975.
  • The first Trader Joe’s label was born in 1972.
  • They expanded to Northern California in 1988.
  • Their business began to expand to other states around 1995.
  • Since 1997 they have been introducing about 10 new items every week.

In 2007, Trader Joe’s made a pledge to exclude trans fats from all their private label products. Preservatives, artificial flavors and colors, and GMO (genetically modified organisms) have been done away with. They also began using labels to help people identify the right product for their lifestyle.