Grocery delivery and curbside pickup have been a lifesaver for a lot of people these days — whether you need to stock up on fresh produce and snacks or quality meat. But one of our favorite grocery stores has notably opted out of offering these services that so many customers seem to be wanting right now. Last year, Trader Joe’s pulled the plug on all delivery services, including suspending all grocery deliveries in the New York City market by March. And while that was shocking at the time, customers were hopeful — amid this pandemic — that the popular, California-based grocer would reverse its decision and being offering delivery and/or curbside pickup. It turns out, the answer’s a big, fat no, according to the “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast.
“Customers are asking if given current circumstances, we’re planning on offering delivery or curbside pickup. We understand the impulse and we know that some other retailers are offering these services. We also know those offerings don’t always translate into positive results,” says Tara Miller, marketing director at Trader Joe’s.
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Miller and Matt Sloan, VP of Marketing at the Trader Joe’s, continued to say in episode 24 of “Insider Trader Joe’s,” published April 20,” that creating the infrastructure for delivery or the online shopping system for curbside pickup is a “massive undertaking,” one that “takes months or years to plan, build, and implement.”
“It requires tremendous resources,” Sloan continues. “At Trader Joe’s, the reality is that over the last couple of decades, we’ve invested those resources in our people rather than build an infrastructure that eliminates the need for people.”
The bottom line, Miller adds, is that, while retailers are cutting stuff and adding self-checkout, curbside pickup, and outsourcing delivery options, Trader Joe’s is, instead, hiring more crew members — and will continue to hire more crew members.
In addition to increasing their crew, Trader Joe’s has also ramped up store cleanings, installed plexiglass barriers, provided up to two weeks of paid sick leave for workers who exhibit coronavirus symptoms, and implemented $2 (per hour) raises for crew members working on the front lines at stores.
“The bottom line here is that our people remain our most valued resource,” Miller says. “We know that this period of distancing will end and when it does, our crew will be in our stores to help you find your next favorite product, just as they’ve always been.”
So, there you have it, folks. If you want to get your Mediterranean hummus fix or a refill on your Everything But the Bagel seasoning, you’ll need to either step into a nearby Trader Joe’s or order the grocer’s most popular staple items on Amazon. Just make sure the Trader Joe’s closest to you isn’t one of the stores that recently closed.