Trader Joe's: A Unique Customer Experience

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Case Details:

Case Code : MKTG221
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1960-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : Trader Joe 's
Industry : Retail Food Industry
Countries : US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Background Note

In 1958, Rexall Drug Co. (Rexall) which operated a chain of drugstores in California, US, decided to enter the fast-growing convenience stores market segment. Rexall opened three convenience stores called 'Pronto Markets', which it managed through a separate business division...

Uniquely Trader Joe's

Many retail industry analysts were of the opinion that TJ stores owed their cult-like following to their reasonably priced, innovative, and unique food products, which differentiated them from other US supermarkets...

Marketing Management Case Studies | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Marketing Management, Case Studies

HR Practices

TJ had a unique organizational culture, with exceptionally customer-focused employees, which made shopping at its stores an entertaining and pleasant experience for customers. Speaking about what was on offer for employees at TJ, Sandy Skrovan, Vice President of retail consultancy firm Retail Forward, said, "You get paid well, go to work in a Hawaiian shirt, eat good food, and talk to people. This is all part of that unique culture that the chain has cultivated."...

The Stores

Talking about the TJ stores, a retail consultant remarked, "The stores were pretty ugly, everything was packed in boxes and there were no brands. They (other retailers) couldn't understand why people went there. They just didn't get it." However, TJ had managed to succeed in the ultra-competitive and super-sized US retail industry, despite operating small stores with limited selections located in out-of-the way and inconvenient places...

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