Trader Joe's Reviews

Updated 23 October 2014
Updated 23 October 2014
661 Reviews
3.4
661 Reviews
Rating Trends

Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Trader Joe's Chairman and CEO Dan Bane
Dan Bane
420 Ratings

Review Highlights

Pros
  • Great benefits and a great place to work for people who don't mind working hard (in 52 reviews)

  • The benefits are great considering it's non-union part time work (in 47 reviews)


Cons
  • Managers sit in the office all day while crew members run the store (in 64 reviews)

  • It can be physically demanding so entry jobs are best for the young and fit (in 40 reviews)

More Highlights

Employee Reviews

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  1. 13 people found this helpful  

    In desperate need of diversity, good balanced leadership & an emphasis on updating.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Lexington-Fayette, KY (US)

    I worked at Trader Joe's full-time

    Pros

    10% discount on decent already cheap booze, carbs; nitrate free meats; tasty hummus, good mineral water spritz prices, good coffee, sample anything; emphasis on reusable or paper bags -- no plastic bags used anywhere.

    Cons

    Scheduling is rife with poor communication and inaccessible management adding to the frustration are back-to-back shifts like closing then opening then closing then opening that contribute to poor health, sleep depravation, which in turn causes everything to suffer, least of all the people. TJ's uses a 2 star rated iPhone only app -DayForce- for employees to request vacation, sick leave, etc. The only other way is to track down the singular manager responsible for scheduling at least a 2 weeks in advance to place a request. There're are no TJ afforded/addressed emails to management that could expedite this process and good luck reaching anyone if you're sick and have to open at 5am. It's the most antiquated systems I've ever had the displeasure of working with.

    All employees were forced to use our/their own cell phone data to fill out post hire documentation --wifi is available, but kept greedily from employees & the hiring process. Out-of-date cheap training materials & computers give off the distinct atmosphere of a 2 bit bodega & not the image of the fastest growing "children of god-esque" replica... ahem, grocery store in America.

    A 2 hr orientation took 6 hours due to ridiculous needless miscommunication, inexperience, a nonexistent HR, constant technical failures (inadequate computing power aforementioned) & interruptions as there was no space separate from the 100+ degree break room to process new hires. The introductory training content & direction were disgustingly condescending at best.

    Scheduling & pay were after thoughts & addressed half heartily at the end of the day.

    My favorite ridiculous-ism was the non-confident assertion that "integrity" was, "...just about being nice to people and stuff..." - Manager

    The GM (Captain) was so socially awkward, he made the others look adequate, when they were just as bad.

    There was an overwhelming sense of false/faux equal treatment for equal work with the white men holding the highest positions & wielding the most control & power, while the female higher ups (all 2 to the men's 7 @ least) were constantly abrasive, unprofessional & defensive as if they had had enough of inaction to right the proverbial ship of obvious inequalities & were determined to react irrationally at or around anyone anytime no matter the reason, nor the company kept & that included in front of the glassy eyed patrons, whose questions went unanswered, irritatingly passed off, or were given completely false & concocted out-of-thin-air responses that presented TJs in the angelic light the kool-aid drinkers with their purple stained lips thought it deserved.

    An overall poor performance from the top down -- I came home bewildered & wondering if all the red flags had been shown or if it was just a really bad day at the park. Sadly, I should've walked away. While not tasting the kool-aid, a glass was poured and I kept it on ice. In my case I got out before I was forced to drink it.

    For a place that wants to be considered a family of friends, it fails on almost every level through forced, coerced, fake & out-of-date methods that actually give off the impression that it IS all just an act. No one cares. The company is cheap. The equality is fake. The trust is paper thin. There is no integrity above "...just being nice to people and stuff..."

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Read the cons and fix them. Focus on diversifying by race/ethnicity & gender (@ the very least) both crew and mates/captain. Take notice of skill sets and place employees accordingly -- it's one thing to have a crew that can do everything & quite another to have a crew that enjoys & is good at doing everything -- most are drawn to particular roles and those roles should be witnessed early-on and exploited if so desired by all parties. That way people like their jobs with the exception of management who need to be willing to pick up the slack in every area. I think this goes to the schedule which is a hot mess to say the least. The answer to avoiding 9 hours of bathroom duty is not breaking up an adult employee's day w/2 hrs here, 2 there and so on. It's demeaning and doesn't allow one to get any sort of rhythm, nor satisfaction.
    Don't be cheap! Fix intolerable break room temperatures. I'm sure there's a way to put a wall unit in there.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  2. 12 people found this helpful  

    Hard work. But there is trouble behind the friendly, happy facade...

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Part Time Crew Member
    Current Employee - Part Time Crew Member

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    Great products, happy customers. Crew mates generally friendly and easy to work with. Management gives leeway most of the time to keep people happy.

    Cons

    Age discrimination...being told you are "slow" and giving the younger people the more fun jobs. Those fired or demoted are older for the most part. TJ's does not acknowledge that accuracy, proper product placement and rotation is more important than how fast you can "throw" product.In its zeal to increase profit, TJ's ignores many practices that cost them money. They'd rather promote a know-nothing younger employee (and what I mean is they haven't been there long enough to know enough to be promoted) than let someone with knowledge and experience get ahead - it's all about how much money you make. Tell me something TJ's...why promote that you pay people well when you look to cut them off when they earn too much? DON'T YOU WANT TO KEEP GOOD PEOPLE?

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Standards and practices. Stop nickle and diming with salaries and look at where waste really occurs. Pay attention to how the stores are run. Our store is ignoring frozen. It's a mess - too much product in the freezer, too many cut boxes, product left out of the freezer too long (45-min to one hour in many cases) leading to degradation of product. No rotation. Too many products available for order elsewhere don't get ordered. And some places where shelves are empty and product is in back, the product doesn't get thrown. IF THE PRODUCT IS NOT THERE YOU CAN'T SELL IT, AND WE LOSE MONEY. And it disappoints the customer. Pay attention to the store. TJ's uses nautical terms and considers each store a ship. Well, no sailor worth his salt would run a ship like TJ's does. Ger your act together! Finally, when an employee mentions something or has an idea, listen to the message, don't kill the messenger.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  3. 3 people found this helpful  

    Not a bad job for right-out-of-college or between careers.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Sign Artist
    Current Employee - Sign Artist

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time (more than an year)

    Pros

    The atmosphere is pretty laid-back and friendly. Benefits are good -- dental and vision for working at least 17.5 hours per week, full medical for working at least 30 hours per week -- and the company pays something like 75% of your premium. Paid time off is accrued as you work.

    They are pretty flexible about schedules. For the most part, you can decide what days and hours you work.

    Cons

    There is a major lack of organization and communication within the company. When messages are sent from corporate, they often don't make it all the way through the chain down to the lower employees, or they are really different when they get there. Hence, we will hear different messages from each mate, and I'm sure each store's mates are hearing different messages from each captain.

    Each store's art department is expected to find its own equipment and is given a very small budget to do so. Each store's computers and printers are provided by a central office, and most are 10+ year old machines that have been refurbished countless times. Transferring files to or from our computers is extremely difficult, because we can't access any websites except traderjoes.com, and most of the computers have no usb ports. Each store does have its own wifi signal, but its name is kept secret and it is undiscoverable by outside devices.

    Regional managers visit the store several times a year and make drastic decisions about our day-to-day operations without good reasons and without really seeing the effects.

    Almost everyone is required to work at least one weekend day. There is an "everyone does everything" policy, which mandates that every employee must work at the registers and/or stock merchandise, regardless of department or specialty.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    The people in charge at corporate and regional offices need to stop adding bureaucracy, broad safety policies, and broad employee conduct policies. They should trust their employees more. The company is starting to lose the independent, neighborhood co-op feel that made it so original and appealing in the first place. If they aren't careful, Trader Joe's will soon be just another grocery store chain full of disgruntled employees and fake smiles.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
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  5. 2 people found this helpful  

    My One Year as a Crew Member

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Dimas, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Dimas, CA (US)

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    I loved the environment. Everyone loves Trader Joe's, including the employees. Trader Joe's thrives off of customer service, and the management understands that a happy crew will provide good customer service, which leads to happy customers.

    Cons

    When you first start working you will never have a steady schedule. Only the "lifers" (10+ years with TJ) have a constant schedule. Each store is run differently, so if you transfer between stores you could be in for a rough transition.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Do not mirco-manage. That just makes you the one Mate that nobody likes and it kills morale. Articulate to the crew why the rules are the way they are. For example, why is TJ a non-GMO store? The customers will ask, so your crew needs to know.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  6. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun job

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Part Time Crew Member in Atlanta, GA (US)
    Former Employee - Part Time Crew Member in Atlanta, GA (US)

    I worked at Trader Joe's part-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Very flexible hours. Seriously the nicest coworkers.

    Cons

    Don't be afraid to work hard and get dirty. Lots of lifting required. Requires spending time in dairy box and freezer.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  7. 1 person found this helpful  

    Fun environment

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Francisco, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Francisco, CA (US)

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Flexible schedule, decent benefits, crew comradarie.

    Cons

    Has become more corporate in structure, it's retail so expect to work weekends, holidays for no extra pay, each store is different so it depends I the captain and how s/he leads the crew.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Managers need more training in leadership skills, encourage positive reinforcement and clear lines of communication

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  8. 2 people found this helpful  

    Gone are the days of Good pay and benefits

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Arroyo Grande, CA (US)
    Former Employee - Crew Member in Arroyo Grande, CA (US)

    I worked at Trader Joe's part-time (more than 5 years)

    Pros

    Worked at Trader Joe's for 6+ years. It used to be one of the best companies to work for. Pay and benefits were well above average. Employees received a generous retirement package and paid time off. Management was fair, respectful, and courteous. However, this is no longer the case. The company has gone downhill, taking advantage of employees by working them to the ground and not compensating you fairly. Quarterly reviews are now bi-annual reviews, in which employees rarely receive even a $.50 raise. Prior to these changes, employees were eligible for a $1 raise every 3 months (which I received on numerous accounts). Additionally, the generous company retirement package has been reduced to a measly 401K plan.

    The days of selling unique, high-quality products from around the world are gone and have been replaced with cheap, unhealthy products in flashy packages (just look at the sodium and sugar content in most of the food - its ridiculous!). It seems corporate spends more on product marketing than employee satisfaction and well-being.The company has lost sight of its bedrock principles of integrity and respect, and has given in to corporate greed. Trader Joe's is now just another mainstream grocery store.

    Cons

    Daily tasks can become routine and repetitive. Lack of growth, unless you are interested in store management (would not recommend). The job is also very taxing on your body, so make sure to practice safe lifting techniques and don't hesitate to ASK for help! The job is not worth the damage it inflicts upon your body from heavy lifting and repetitive movement.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Don't forget about the core values and mission of the company. Teach and preach Kaizen.

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
  9. 2 people found this helpful  

    Used to be a great company to work for.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Anonymous
    Former Employee - Anonymous

    I worked at Trader Joe's full-time (more than 8 years)

    Pros

    Some cool people still work there.

    Cons

    If you don't kiss up to management you will never be promoted. Schedule sucks. They have gone on witch hunts to get rid of people who have been there for a long time and make a lot of money.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Stop promoting incompetent people to Captain.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Positive Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
  10.  

    Great Atmosphere with great people.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Crew Member in New York, NY (US)
    Current Employee - Crew Member in New York, NY (US)

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Everyone says the attitudes of the employees at Trader Joe's is way better than anywhere else especially in NYC. I feel part of the reason is that the management makes their crew members feel comfortable, is there to help them learn and grow, and accommodates and trusts everyone working their.

    Cons

    It can get pretty hectic as well as physically challenging. Dealing with the often demanding and rude customers is emotionally challenging as well.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Communication is key especially because there is such a big staff so that's very important.

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
  11.  

    Good Company

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Diego, CA (US)
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Diego, CA (US)

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time (less than an year)

    Pros

    Positive Atmosphere, Upbeat work environment

    Cons

    Nights and Weekends, Weird Customers and Poor Parking

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    None

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

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