Trader Joe’s Makes a Splash

Many people see grocery shopping as a time consuming and honestly quite irritable task. We put off going for as long as we can and right when we do we are immediately reminded of why the trips are so bothersome. Is it the incredibly long lines? People hovering over you as you try to reach for that bunch of bananas? Or could it be the irritating sales associates constantly asking if you need help finding an item? After observing or feeling each of these experiences there must be truth in the fact that grocery shopping is not a favored task for many.

Thankfully, a new grocery store opened here last November, changing the negative portrayal of grocery shopping for many. Trader Joe’s, a private and savvy retailer has taken grocery shopping to the next level.  Their conscious effort to stand out from other grocery stores by providing a non-conventional approach and attitude, serving inexpensive and organic products, combined with their friendly- but not pushy- employees all aim to address and change the unpleasant grocery shopping experience.

Just by walking into any Trader Joe’s store it becomes quite obvious how they are different from other grocery retailers. From their unique employee dress code to their product placement and shelf design, Trader Joe’s uses their creativity throughout each and every aspect of their business. Each employee is required to wear a Hawaiian flowered shirt. The tiki pattern is then carried out throughout the store as seen in their logo and on product packaging. The layout of each Trader Joe’s store is strategically planned to control the traffic flow of shoppers and save time during the grocery shopping experience.

Trader Joe’s also prides themselves on their inexpensive and organic products. The store is able to sell high-quality products at low and affordable prices. One of their most famous products is their “Two-Buck Chuck” a bottle of Charles Shaw wine priced at a little fewer than three dollars. They also offer a variety of organic products without blowing a hole in your pocket with the prices. As our society constantly wants to move to a more holistic approach to dieting it is reassuring to know that the Wilmington community wants to move forward by bringing another whole foods grocery store.

Based on the overall aesthetics and store layout that Trader Joes provides for customers it is evident that as a brand they have a pretty clear idea of the target market in which they continue to reach. If you are a grocery shopper looking to find unique organic items, in a timely fashion, with relatively low prices this is the place for you. Convenience and brand management play major roles in attracting a wide variety of shoppers across all demographic groups. This is what stands them out from the rest of the pack giving them the competitive advantage over rivals and opposing stores.

Customer Service is one of the cornerstones of brand management. As mentioned above interpersonal and accommodating employees are one of several qualities that Trader Joes prides themselves on. Going in to a store and being swarmed by employees is often stressful and anti productive. On the other hand, shopping in a store where no representatives are in sight produces similar results. Trader Joes provides customers with the perfect medium. They are eager to introduce you to new items and direct you to their latest deals.

Bringing the California born, Trader Joes to Wilmington was an ideal business venture for their brand. The easy-going atmosphere, organic, and cost efficient products are a perfect fit for the healthy and active community. Maybe it is the beach but the laid-back demeanors displayed across our community gives Wilmington a vibe that positively correlates with Trader Joes’ ambience.

Upon walking in to the store you routinely overcome with feelings of belonging. As a customer this is what you want. Maybe this atmosphere provides you all with similar emotions?

Overall Trader Joes is a company that has a vigorous grasp of their identity and who they are as a brand. This is what will allow them to prosper not only in Wilmington but also in cities/towns nationwide in years to come. Maintaining a desired reputation is a critical aspect of brand management. After asking around the community and surrounding communities it is surprising to hear of absolutely NO negative feedback. Think twice before you begin to engage in your traditional Harris Teeter grocery shopping experience because right down the road is a healthier, cost-friendly and unique alternative. This option is located on the corner Oleander and College Road!

-Parker Farfour, Alex Corrigan, Caitlin Ford, Kaitlin Bateson

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2 thoughts on “Trader Joe’s Makes a Splash

  1. I’m not quite sure what the insight is here. Trader Joe’s is an established successful chain that has unique food options, cool vibe and uses wine as a loss leader to draw in customers . . . that’s not news. What’s the news? What is their unique communication challenge? How are they meeting it better than others? What do they give up by branding themselves the way they do (compare with Fresh Market or Whole Foods). What does their approach as both a national and a niche kind of store help us understand about trying to establish that kind of success for others?

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