retail news in context, analysis with attitude

The New York Times reports this morning on the magic of Trader Joe’s:

“The stores are small, the selection is uneven and the corporate culture can be described as dorky. But because its products are often not available anywhere else; because they mysteriously appear, disappear, then reappear on the shelves; or perhaps simply because they often taste very, very good, Trader Joe's has become tremendously popular among Americans who like to be entertained and educated by what they eat, as well as nourished by it.”

One of the points made by the Times article is the obsessive attention that Trader Joe’s pays to testing and tasting new products, making sure that everything it sells meets a certain standard for quality and consumer acceptance.

And here’s the quote from a Trader Joe’s customer to which other retailers ought to pay attention: “This sounds crazy, but you feel like the company likes food even more than they like money. You don't feel that at the supermarket.”
KC's View:
We’ve long said that one of the distinguishing characteristics of Trader Joe’s is that it treats customers as if they are intelligent, and by doing so, makes customers feel intelligent just by walking in TJ’s front door.

Compare this to other stores and companies – and we all know them – that actually hope to succeed on the backs of consumer ignorance.