Hey Joe? Going Down to Traders?

They say shopping is a woman’s thing!  How many men like grocery shopping?  Most don’t!  But there’s one place I really enjoy!  Before I reveal it, let me make one thing perfectly clear.  I don’t get a commission writing about them.

Ever hear of Charles Shaw?

How much for a good bottle of wine?   If I told you a good bottle of wine costs $3 – yet it’s an award winner – would you believe me? Now country singer Randy Travis, in the song “A Better Class of Losers,” indoctrinates us with pearls of wisdom.   “You think it’s disgraceful that they drink three-dollar wine.”  I hate to disagree with my namesake!  He never tasted this wine.

They Market Uniqueness

Trader Joe’s website is http://www.traderjoes.com/ and there’s many unique features they market.  Let’s survey a few:

  1. Organic foods at prices most stores charge for chemical varieties.
  2. Low cost wines and beers.
  3. Store brands from around the world.
  4. A very friendly and helpful staff.
  5. Free drink and food samples.
  6. Stuff I can’t get at other stores (I.E. – Greek dishes, Italian dishes, etc.).
  7. A smaller store space compared to rivals (I.E. – Target, Myers, Wal-Mart, etc.).

The Real Test

You want to know the quality acid test?  If you see the store constantly filled with shoppers – especially in these down economic times – that would be a great “test for success.”

I have a similar test for judging ethnic food restaurants.  If ethnic nationals constantly visit a restaurant (I.E. – Mexicans visit a Mexican restaurant, Chinese visit a Chinese restaurant, etc.), it passes my “test for success.”  Almost!

The other test is that I must like the food.  It doesn’t matter if Pope Benedict, President Obama, the Queen of England, or some other dignity, loves the food.  If I don’t like it, it doesn’t pass!

Sailing the ship

The store reminds me of being inside a pirate ship – with some slight variations.  The crew wears Hawaiian ships and there’s a big bell to ring.  The bell is an interesting market ploy.  I’ll quote from their website in telling the story:

“It’s a kind of Trader Joe’s Morse code. Those blustery PA systems just didn’t feel right to us, so we came up with a simple system to communicate – island style. One bell lets our Crew know when to open another register. Two bells mean there are additional questions that need to be answered at the checkout. Three bells call over a manager-type person. Honestly, it’s much easier than the ole message in a bottle trick.”

Ahoy Matey

If you live in the nine states hosting theses stores, and have paid a visit, please comment on your experience.

Randy Kemp



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