“Trader Joe’s is no ordinary grocery chain,” warns a Fortune article today promising to reveal a look “inside the secret world of Trader Joe’s.” What follows is an examination of how it is just like an ordinary grocery chain.
There is much bobo bashing, of course, which is fine. A consultant jokes that the ideal shopper is a “Volvo-driving professor who could be CEO of a Fortune 100 company if he could get over his capitalist angst.” The article breezes over the fact that the main draw of the store is that it is cheap.
The thrust of the “secret” seems to be the fact that Trader Joes doesn’t make its own products, which was probably known by anyone who’s ever thought about it. The two examples of products seemingly produced by other manufacturers were already listed on a blog post from 2008. The new information seems to be contained entirely in the following sentence: “Fortune obtained a copy of a standard vendor agreement, which states, ‘Vendor shall not publicize its business relationship with TJ’s in any manner.'”
Then they send retail expert Burt P. Flickinger III on a jaunty perambulation through the Larchmont store, where he is plied with top-shelf victuals.
Some 620 people “like” the article on Facebook.