China Food

Who is the “Uncle without virtue” who owns millions of fans in North American treasure supermarket?

A 6031 can not get rid of the “bad uncle.”.
As a gourmet fan, I find that many food bloggers, especially those living in North America, like to produce a kind of content – “Trader Joe’s” unpacking / product testing.
Photo source: station B
In addition, there is no need for new products to be launched in time.
In summer, the crispy cone was planted with grass, and in autumn, all kinds of new pumpkin snacks were planted.
Photo source: Food blogger melz & Chris
The supermarket, known as “Uncle De De”, began in 1968 and was acquired by Aldi, a European supermarket giant, in 1979. It has a history of 53 years.
For two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019, “Uncle without virtue” was rated as the top 1 supermarket in the United States (based on a survey of 7000 American families and measuring a supermarket in terms of price, quality, electronization, operation, convenience, discount and speed).
On instagram, @ traderjoeslist has 1.1 million fans, which are created by consumers on their own for Po products and experiences.
Under the circumstances that the impact of the epidemic has greatly reduced offline traffic this year, “Uncle Wude” still maintains Pingxiao (net sales per square meter) at $23400, a figure far behind the total food supermarket (US $9000) and Wal Mart (US $5000).
However, the smooth sailing “Uncle without morality” also encountered unprecedented challenges this year. When the major supermarket chains in North America hit the fields of e-commerce and distribution, Trader Joe’s still insisted on the policy of no e-commerce and no distribution
“It’s better to invest in employees than to invest in electronics.”
So, will this “Trader Joe’s” who has good taste and long waiting time will lose the favor of consumers because of the slow pace of self built e-commerce?
The “Captain” man set up
In 1967, the founder, Joe Coulombe, lay in St On the hammock hung by a big tree on Barts Island, he enjoys the sunshine and delicious drinks of the Caribbean beach. Inspired by the beautiful scenery and delicious food, he has a flash of inspiration. Since people enjoy the beautiful food and bring some foreign food and drink as a companion every time they go home, will it be a good business to sell such exotic customs in their hometown?
At that time, he was running a supermarket chain called Pronto markets, but he was beaten down by 711, because the market itself was a product of imitation of 711, and it naturally did not have an advantage when it came to genuine brands.
Perhaps inspired by the Caribbean, uncle undead is determined to build a different supermarket. On the basis of the original Pronto market, “Trader Joe’s” was born, and “Uncle” gave it a core mission:
Make shopping fun.
This mission runs through more than 50 years of development of “Uncle Wude”. All of its 505 stores follow this concept of product selection, decoration design and staff training.
Let’s first talk about design — navigation theme concept store.
Now we often see restaurants with various themes, but 50 years ago they were not.
The decoration style of “Uncle Wude” deliberately creates the feeling of farmers’ market. Fresh vegetables and fruits are displayed on the wooden box type exhibition stand. The product description and price label are creative and hand-painted. The employees wear Hawaiian fancy T-shirts. The store manager is called “Captain”, and other employees are “crew members”. Instead of calling customers or colleagues with loudspeakers, shop assistants use distinctive ringing bells to convey information.
Source: Trader Joe’s
The atmosphere of the wharf market is just a few minutes away. The whole store seems to be telling a story: “I’m uncle-in-law. I’m a trader. I sail to travel around the world and bring you delicious food and exotic goods.”
Source: medium
With the atmosphere, there are people.
“Bad uncle” staff attitude is well-known, can always give consumers a sense of being valued. In 2017, it ranked first in terms of cashier politeness in supermarkets across the United States.
If a customer wants to return a product or try any food, the assistant will support him without saying a word. Xiaobian once went shopping and casually asked about the taste of the next new product. The clerk opened a new package and handed it over to try. There are long-term new products, coffee and free lollipops for children.
A lot of small details that make customers comfortable are also very good. For example, uncle Wude’s bananas are sold by root, which is because an old customer said that she wanted to buy them by root, because she was worried that she would not live to eat the fourth banana. This is done out of humanistic concern.
Source: Trader Joe’s
In order to enable employees to concentrate on serving customers, the “Uncle without virtue” stipulates that the income of the staff has nothing to do with the sales of products, and most of the employees are shareholders in the store.
Full time employees above the local level must be of medium income. The annual income of store managers is more than 6 figures, 10-50% higher than that of peers.
In addition, when Wal Mart invested heavily in e-commerce and Amazon purchased whole food supermarkets, many chain supermarkets invested in e-commerce, distribution and automation equipment. And “Trader Joe’s” does not support online shopping until now, and there is no self-service cash register system.
Matt Sloan, vice president of marketing, said the cost of setting up e-commerce was too high, and the investments “eliminated the need for people.”. Over the past few decades, the “unethical uncle” has invested these resources in employees rather than in infrastructure designed to replace people. ”  
Mark Gardiner, a marketing expert who once worked in the store of “Uncle virtue”, analyzes in the book “build a brand like Trader Joe’s”: Amazon’s Polaris index is convenience, and their core idea is not only online shopping, but also allowing you to finish things that need to be completed in one hour in two minutes. They need to do their best to automate / simplify the shopping process.
The core logic of “bad uncle” is completely different from Amazon. Its brand is completely based on “making shopping fun”. One pursues pleasure and the other pursues efficiency. Naturally, the strategy of e-commerce and distribution is opposite.
The CEO of Costco has praised the experience to the best of its competitors: “what’s the reason not to like it?”  
Core secrets: private brand, control of SKU
It can be said that “Uncle Wude” is the pioneer of creating supermarket’s own brand. In recent years, we have seen supermarket chain giants such as target, Albertsons and Kroger also testing their own brands.
For a long time, “Uncle Wude” has controlled the price by directly cooperating with the manufacturers to purchase the goods which are produced by them and pasted with the brand of Trader Joe’s.
So you often see products that are very similar in appearance, taste, material, such as this juice 👇
Top: Trader Joe’s bottom: Taken
Source: eater
Same pistachio 👇
Top: Trader Joe’s bottom: wonderful pistachios
Source: eater
Same cookie 👇
Top: Trader Joe’s bottom: Tate’s bake
Source: image of eater
According to statistics, the private brand of “bad uncle” is about 37% lower than that of the same brand.
In order to ensure competitive advantage and sustainable brand moat effect, cooperative manufacturers are required to keep confidential and cooperative relationship. In return, supermarkets do not charge entrance fees and shelf location fees, and sign contracts in advance to obtain the lowest price.
In addition, “De De uncle” uses people’s psychology of choosing phobia, strictly selects goods and controls the number of SKUs.
Compared with 70000 square foot stores and 30000 SKUs, the area and number of SKUs of “Uncle Wude” are only about 1 / 7 of the former. Basically, there are only three to four options for the same product.
On the selection, we will search for special products from all over the world. Pizzas made in Italy, frozen sachets made in India, bibimbap in stone pot in Korea, fast food kung pao chicken Ding in China, etc. Therefore, if there is no Asian supermarket nearby, uncle Wude can satisfy people’s yearning for home food to a certain extent.
In addition, as mentioned above, the renewal speed of “Uncle De” products is very fast.
After the products are put on the shelves, the “Uncle without morality” gives the right of choice to the users, and determines which products need to be eliminated and which products need to be updated according to the consumption situation of users. The list of the most popular products will be published every year.
Because of the survival of the fittest, customers are also prompted to buy the things they are interested in immediately, because you don’t know whether they will be available next time they come back. At the same time, every time customers come back to the store, it is also a new food treasure hunting experience.
Source: newhope network
Because the goods are concentrated and delicious, each item can be sold more and faster with high recognition. This ensures the stable sales volume of suppliers, increases the bargaining power with the merchants, and the ecosystem is in a virtuous circle. It can get cheaper purchase price, and finally reduce the price, which further increases the viscosity and loyalty of consumers in other homes.
The uncertain availability and freshness of product selection stimulate the return rate and purchase desire of customers psychologically.
Despite its popularity, the company has been slowly expanding at the rate of opening 30-35 stores a year for many years.
Source: j.emilio Flores / the New York Times
The company has very strict requirements on the choice of new market and subdivided consumer groups. According to relevant research, it is a very complex process of data analysis, including median family income, education level, population density, distribution efficiency and labor force.
David Livingston, an expert on supermarket location, said uncle undead’s ideal store location is in an area with a median household income of more than $100000.
Livingston said the ideal store should be within 3.2 kilometers of the potential customer base, preferably with a large university or large medical complex nearby. For example, within five miles of Florham Park Plaza, where Uncle Edward is located, there are nearly 146000 people with an average family income of more than $200000. Such a location can ensure that the store can get enough customer traffic to support revenue.
“Immoral uncle” doesn’t follow the trend?
According to YouGov’s data survey, there has been no significant change in consumers’ shopping enthusiasm for “Uncle without virtue” this year.  
The gray line represents the shopping intention in 2019, and the red line represents the shopping intention in 2020, with little change in the trend
On the one hand, it shows his own advantages of customer viscosity and ability to resist environmental changes. Especially because of its long-term adherence to its own brand, many of its products are about 10% – 15% lower than those of similar products.
However, on the other hand, the frequency and cost of online shopping increased significantly in the epidemic. In order to reduce the risk of infection, consumers tend to go shopping in super stores such as Costco, target and Wal Mart. The long-standing insistence of “Trader Joe’s” has made it seem a bit out of fashion.
In addition to keeping e-commerce at a distance, the “unethical uncle” still insists on “investing employees” and “keeping low prices” in the epidemic situation. In the case of other companies’ salary cuts and layoffs, the “Uncle without virtue” has set up a “thank you” salary for all employees, that is, an additional “thank you” salary of $2 / hour, to thank all the “crew” in the shop for their continued care for customers and the community. When many businesses raise their prices because of the increased cost, they still promise not to increase the price as much as possible. Because the “Uncle without virtue” thinks that if the price has to be raised due to the rising cost, it means that the value of a product is not high now and the sales need to be stopped.
Perhaps the best way to deal with the epidemic crisis for “Trader Joe’s” is to “do yourself well” and make full use of every advantage of his own. Delicious and inexpensive products, unique shopping experience, warm and warm staff… Continue to be irresistible, attracting consumers to return to the store.
reference resources: You never know the story of Joe the merchant/ 20200304_ 01
Source of the first picture | Trader Joe’s
Author: wickey; source: silicon rabbit race (ID: SV_ Race), reprint has been authorized.
Join the community: Cherry (wechat: 15240428449);
Business cooperation: Amy (wechat: 13701559246).
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