Trader Joe's Review ~ The Inside Stories

Trader Joes Review

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Trader Joe's Review
Posted by Karl Keller
Business Owner & Franchise Wisdom Editor

Many people ask us if they can buy a Trader Joe's Franchise? Sorry folks It's not a franchise and unfortunately you can't buy stock either as it's a wholly private owned company. However, we have carefully  selected & verified an excellent option for you...
he  Leading R.O.I. Option That is Literally Controlling Today's Economy.

Trader Joe's Company, offically founded in 1967, operates a chain of unique grocery stores that have been described as equal parts discount warehouse club, natural foods store, specialty grocer, and neighborhood store. A credit to the company's resourceful buying practices, the Trader Joe's stores offer an ever-changing inventory of about 2,000 unusual and appealing food items, wine, and other products. About 98 percent of the product assortment is food, much of it natural, cruelty-free, and made without artificial ingredients: pastas, seafood and meatless foods, baked items, frozen meals, chips and other snacks, coffee and tea, nuts, cheeses, vitamins, candies, pet food, wine and beer, and fresh produce. Business has grown steadily since its inception, through innovation and sharp management techniques. The company was purchased in 1979 by the Albrechts, a wealthy German family who also owns the ALDI discount food stores. In 2002, there were at least 160 Trader Joe's stores operating in 15 states.


Startup Costs, Ongoing Fees and Financing N/A

Total Investment:  Not Applicable... Not A Franchise
Franchise Fee: 
Not Applicable... Not A Franchise
Ongoing Royalty Fee:
Not Applicable... Not A Franchise
Term of Franchise Agreement:
Not Applicable... Not A Franchise

Financial Requirements
Net Worth:
Not Applicable... Not A Franchise
Liquid Cash Available:
Not Applicable... Not A Franchise

Grocery stores are usually considered one of the more difficult businesses to generate profits (one of the few that's worse is owning an airline).  There's a constant struggle to find the best middle ground on getting the biggest buck for the product.  Spoilage on fresh produce and meats are a constant issue.  On top of the that, price flucuations on products (often related to either weather issues or energy prices) can move up or down (like gasoline prices) and the Grocer is caught in the middle.

The grocer is that last in line in the supply chain and the one the consumer deals with makes them reluctant to move prices up and down on a daily basis (just think about having to generate labels on products throughout the store constantly versus just changing the price on the gas pumps).  I'm often amazed that there are more grocery chains that go out of business.

Well, I can tell you that Trader Joe's isn't in that category.  They've positioned themselves as a premium option to normal grocery stores and are thriving whereever they open a store.  The public looks at them as a health food alternative and have shown they are willing to pay a premium for that.  Trader Joe's also offers unique products that in most cases can't be purchased anywhere else.

Trader Joe's would be a GREAT business opportunity if they were ever to open their doors to Franchisees.  Unfortunately, currently that isn't the case.  I can honestly say that within this market sector, Trader Joe's (and perhaps Whole Foods Market, which is another chain that isn't a franchise) are the only two I would even consider wanting to be a part of.  It's hard to be profitable or stand out when the driving force is normally price (Walmart has staked that territory out and you don't want to compete against them on price... you'll lose).  As for me, I'd rather differentiate myself on quality and uniqueness... like Trader Joe's.

So, on that note, I recommend that you consider looking at business opportunity that offer you quality and uniqueness because with that often comes a great return on your investment.  There are opportunities all around you, you just have to look around and you'll be surprised what's there... look to the right of this article for one of those opportunities!

Key "Pros" Of This Business

Outstanding Quality Business
Considered a healthier option than traditional grocery stores and generates higher profite margins
High growth potential

Key Headaches ("Cons") To Consider

It's not a Franchise




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