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The San Jose Mercury News reports on the unique selling proposition offered by Trader Joe's, a philosophy that allows the company to grow - even in a climate of heightened competition.

Trader Joe's approach includes:

  • It is a niche player selling "high-end gourmet food at low-end prices," usually under a private label banner.


  • When the company purchases products from suppliers, it is in ample supply and paid for with cash. The company only stocks about 2,500 SKUs in each store, and they must pull their weight. When sales decrease below a certain point, the item is banished.


  • The target customer is educated and sophisticated, as well being health conscious and inclined to read labels.


  • Employees are well paid, and made to feel like they are part of a team - no small feat in a retailing category where labor strife has become a regular part of business.

KC's View:
We've always thought that part of Trader Joe's appeal is the fact that you feel smarter when you walk in the door. They treat you like you have a brain and good taste - which is a powerful combination.