The Secret Behind Trader Joe’s

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I’ve always been a little curious about how and why Trader Joe’s has acquired such a cultlike status, and over at Vox this morning Rebecca Jennings tells all:

Trader Joe’s does not participate in traditional advertising, never has sales, and is known for frustrating product shortages…. The majority of its products are private label, a.k.a. “generic”…. While most grocery stores carry about 50,000 units of product in store at once, Trader Joe’s typically only has around 4,000…. “People don’t think of [Trader Joe’s products] as generic,” Mark Gardiner, author of the book Build a Brand Like Trader Joe’s told Eater. “[They think] ‘it’s Trader Joe’s — that’s the brand,’ and it’s a special brand that you can only get here. The truth is that almost all of this is stuff that you can probably get at another store within a few miles of that Trader Joe’s in a different package with a different name.”

Basically, they sell a limited selection of generic stuff but they put fun labels on it. Huh.

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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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