TRADER Joe’s CEO has dispelled some rumors about the future of the grocery chain and made an announcement that has many customers excited.
In the latest episode of Insider Trader Joe’s podcast, CEO Bryan Palbaum and VP Jon Basalone hinted at expansion plans and reiterated store policies.
The California-based chain has become a popular choice for shoppers looking for great deals on fresh produce, seasonal snacks and frozen staples.
Rumors have been circulating for months about a possible upgrade of some storefronts, from drive-ins to in-store dining options.
The brand has made it clear that it has no plans for either service, according to Palbaum, who quickly responded with “wrong” to both suggestions.
Self-checkout is another area the brand doesn’t plan to test, unlike many other major grocers.
Stores like Costco and Wegmans have chosen to allow their customers to scan and pay for their own items to reduce shopper wait times.
Trader Joe’s executives have decided that human interaction is more important to them than self-checkout options.
“[Self-checkout rumors are] As wrong as it can be because we believe in people and don’t try to get rid of our crew members for efficiency reasons,” Basalone explained.
Palbaum added that he aims to provide exceptional customer service, which he believes is best achieved through customer-employee interaction.
“It’s not fun… I enjoy packing groceries and working at the register. Self checkout is work. I don’t want that,” the CEO remarked.
While there are no plans to add self-checkout stations, the store does intend to add more locations to the list.
“We will continue to do what we do, but we will grow,” announced Basalone.
“The new comes from the new customers we can reach, the new products we will see on our shelves and the new opportunities for crew members…”
Palbaum reiterated the opportunity to reach new customers with new branches.
“[Expect] Opening of more stores, new locations and new regions. What may feel old to us is entirely new to all of these new customers, wherever they may be, even in our existing stores.”
Trader Joe’s currently has 530 stores nationwide.