Who Is Trader Joe's?

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In 1967, Joe Coulombe founded Trader Joe’s – a once convenience store turned niche supermarket chain specializing in upscale gourmet foods, beverages, and products – built on superior customer service and empowering their associates of the organization. Faced with an uphill battle against growing competitor 7-Eleven, who offered a variety of lower-priced products and goods, Coulombe switch gears and turned his focus on supplying customers with high quality food and beverages – including every variety and brand of wine produced in California along with complementing breads and cheeses – with the hopes of encouraging consumers to try and like more superior products. The new model paid off and Coulombe found himself on the verge of a growing business he needed to sustain. He knew customer service would make the difference and great customer service called for great salespeople. Coulombe’s approach to superior customer satisfaction through the empowerment of its employees would set Trader Joe’s apart from the rest of the supermarket retail chains.…show more content…
This approach created a culture centered on the consumer’s personal experience and not the ridged, and often strict, operational rules and requirements of supervisor approval to keep customers happy. Instead, salespeople had autonomy to make slip second decisions and customize the shopping experience per customer. This “no authorization need” approach gave employees the sense of ownership in their supermarkets and allowed Coulombe to build a business culture based on values and norms about providing excellent customer service and personalization of relationships between salespeople and regular customers, often on a first-name

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