In praise of Trader Joe’s

From a discussion at RetailWire about Trader Joe’s; no doubt there are “lessons to be learned” for all kinds of retailers:
I see three things that differentiate TJ’s from the competition:
1. Distinctive product development instead of “me-too” merchandise;
2. A consistent focus on value;
3. A disciplined approach to assortment planning.
The relatively small size of most Trader Joe’s stores forces the chain to make sure that every product carries its weight. And the customer is consistently — and pleasantly — surprised by the price/quality equation. These are clear lessons not only for food retailers but for every retailer trying to build a more rational and competitive private-brand model.
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