Trader Joe's Reviews

Updated July 27, 2015
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3.6
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Recommend to a friend
Approve of CEO
Trader Joe's Chairman and CEO Dan Bane
Dan Bane
130 Ratings

Pros
  • This company has Great benefits (in 56 reviews)

  • Health benefits for only working part-time (in 48 reviews)

Cons
  • Management can play "favorites" with certain crew members (in 65 reviews)

  • It is a physically demanding job (in 40 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

203 Employee Reviews

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  1. Awesome!

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    I enjoy the autonomy, it's a fun work environment, the management is helpful and I love doing tastings to try new product!

    Cons

    It's immensely physical work by nature and this can take a serious toll on your physical health, inconsistent schedule (but that just comes with working in retail).


  2. Helpful (3)

    benefits of working at trader Joe's

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - F/T Crew Member in Pinole, CA
    Current Employee - F/T Crew Member in Pinole, CA

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

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Trader Joe's is an affordable grocery store with friendly employees and opportunity to grow if career oriented. It is perfect for entry level employment as well.

    Cons

    Depending on expectations trader joes however is a company that you have to work at for a significant amount of time for the pay rate to increase. Therefore if you have a family and certain expenses it may be sort of hard to manage to get by based on the pay rate.

    Advice to Management

    Trader Joe's is a very cool company. My only suggestion would have to be is the pay should start at at least $15 per hour. Or instead of waiting a six month period for a raise it should be reduced to three in my opinion.


  3. A good place to work, if you are willing to work very, very hard

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Los Angeles, CA
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Los Angeles, CA

    I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    Pros

    Competitive wages for retail. If you consistently perform well, you can make a good wage at the company. If you are with the company for many years, you can do quite well. Many crew members have been with the company for 10+ years, which is a good sign. Most stores are open a very wide range of hours, many start as early as 4:30 AM and are open as late as 12 AM. Competitive raises and performance reviews for eligible crew members are currently offered on a twice-yearly basis. Great for students and people looking to work nights and weekends! Assistant Managers ("mates") make good to excellent wages for working retail, with 10 hours of mandatory overtime a week. Most managers, especially at well-established stores, are knowledgable, friendly, and have been with the company for many years. Coworkers are friendly and fun to work with. Management is approachable and most "Captains" have been with the company for 5+ years, many started out as "Crew". If you are scheduled enough hours to obtain health benefits, they are quite generous and affordable for the quality of care offered. Dental and vision are offered with fewer hours required. Paid time off accumulates based on the hours you work and you can use it (mostly) at your discretion. There are no blackout dates, and it can be used for illness or vacation. Transferring: It is possible to transfer to other Trader Joe's locations. It is not unheard of to have a crew member transfer to another store within a large city, or even to transfer across the country. There are requirements and limitations, of course, but it is a cool perk if you are looking for a change of scenery and want to stay with the company. I have many coworkers who have transferred to or from my store.

    Cons

    High turnover in some stores. However, in some stores, crew members have been with the company for 10-20 years. Management is constantly changing the "rules" for how to work, usually resulting in doing the same job twice or in having safety-improving tools being off-limits during open hours. Often back-breaking labor with minimal tools for safe lifting. Age is no barrier to the physically demanding work...whether you are 17 or 60, you are expected to break down pallets and carry heavy boxes. Everyone works a variety of shifts, often with as little as 8 hours between shifts (ie: 3P-11P one day and 6A-2P the following day). Assistant Managers have set schedules, but few crew members are given the luxury of a set, predictable schedule. Childcare and family life are hard to manage with the schedule, unless you have a partner with a supremely flexible job. Difficult to budget during "slow" months, as weekly hours may vary from 16 to 35 hours per week. Some managers are fantastic, while others are lackluster. There is a high occurrence of transfers amongst management at the various stores in an area. This means that assistant management of the store is often changing like musical chairs. Usually assistant managers don't have a say as to where they are transferred or how often, which can be difficult for them and for the crew. Favoritism is a problem at most stores. Some crew members can get away with anything, while others are constantly being watched. If you are a manager's "favorite" you usually have it pretty easy. If you are not outgoing or have trouble getting along with everyone, this may not be the right job for you. Some stores understaff to make sales and budget numbers look better. This results in an already overworked staff getting exhausted, especially during night shifts.

    Advice to Management

    Be more forgiving with the schedules, your crew will thank you for it. Listen to your crew members when they have suggestions for improvements within the store. Encourage people's strengths, not their weaknesses. Encourage store's individual strengths and focus on their communities. Review the company's 7 core values from time to time to make sure that the individual stores AND managers are living up to their values.


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  5. Crew Member Experience

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

    I have been working at Trader Joe's (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Healthcare and benefits, potential pay raise every six months, opportunities for feedback to management, flexible hierarchy wherein one may gain more responsibility, flexible hours.

    Cons

    Given the reputation of Trader Joe's as a 'small neighborhood supermarket' of sorts, there are very high expectations from both management and customers regarding customer service. Also, there are a lot of aspects of this company culture that are very much ingrained into employees.

    Advice to Management

    I think management should always maintain a professional but balanced relationship with both their superiors (the captain, the regional, etc.) and crew members--because the hierarchy tends to be blurred at times and responsibilities can fluctuate, it's easy to neglect certain aspects of the job, like making executive decisions.


  6. Helpful (1)

    Crew Member

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Part Time Crew Member in San Mateo, CA
    Former Employee - Part Time Crew Member in San Mateo, CA

    I worked at Trader Joe's part-time (More than a year)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    The people you work with can be really fun. The job can be fun and you gain confidence of your abilities after a few months. The store's can become really busy, which makes time go by faster.

    Cons

    If you have bad management, other people will slack off, and you will not get credit for the hard work you're putting in. The review process every six months is a joke (they never changed my recommendations on what I needed to improve on, they even used the same wording by just copy and pasting from my past reviews).


  7. Crew member

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

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great people to work with. Mangers works really hard right along with you. Everyone does everything. Good pay and benefits.

    Cons

    You basically have to work Sunday's and almost all weekends. It's physically demanding work and a lot of the people who have been there a long time have injuries.

    Advice to Management

    Management needs to all be on the same page. You will hear different rules from different managers.


  8. Helpful (3)

    The Old Grey Mare Aint What She Used To Be

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Part Time Crew Member in San Francisco, CA
    Former Employee - Part Time Crew Member in San Francisco, CA

    I worked at Trader Joe's (More than 10 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    You get to be in an environment of fast paced work and customer service. The customers themselves are educated and interesting to be around, as well as to learn from. You learn much about healthy eating and clean food sourcing for your health and the health of your family. I spent over 12 years with the company most of which were fun and stimulating. good benefits, retirement plan, accumulated reserve time (sick days or vacation you chose). Most people are fun to work with. Lots of food and wine to sample, drink, and taste. Getting drunk on wine and beer at work for free.

    Cons

    It is a private company, so there is little to no transparency in regards to fairness. If you ever need to appeal a decision or accusation, you will see 0 documentation against you. When I started with the company management was very active in helping with all aspects of the store side by side with the part-time crew members. The company went as so far as to let you sign into your shift by hand on your time card, the trust level was unheard of. Times are a changing at the "NEW" Trader Joe's you are not trusted, you are not a value, you are not cherished for your customer service knowledge or care. The crew itself is now being hired for their looks and not their drive or knowledge of grocery or food in general... think Abercrombie and Fitch of grocery stores. It is trendy to work for TJs now, so the company is into heavy turnover and promoting unsuccessful young inexperienced crew members into mate positions (lower in store management). They have also been head hunting "talented" managers from other companies that are not from the same retail category e.g. home depot, lane bryant. The managers are not a part of the culture that has been Trader Joe's, they are cut throat ladder climbers willing to step on anyone,kiss derriere to superiors, coddle lazy work ethic, enjoy high school social behaviors and do things even if they know them to be wrong. I witnessed many flagrant abuses that were rewarded again and again. Sexual misconduct, drugs, absent from store regularly, captains on injury then leaving the store without leadership, and I go on. The review process is inconsistent and is used to cut out employees (expensive). Management is rotated so often they are like tourists, they come in act like they own you and the store, then they leave their mess for you to clean up with notes for the next set of managers filled with fact less opinion. They are not offering hours that any normal family based person can maintain, as well as not offering enough hours to get the benefits package I mentioned as a Pro, so great for college kid. This is not the job you have been told you are getting, unless you transition to a mate position. good luck.

    Advice to Management

    Grow up. You lack the experience of your predecessors, you should work on mediating personalities in the store before conflicts arise. Stop choosing sides and stop destroying people you truly do not know, they may have stress that you are not aware of. Working with people for 3 months does not give you the power to destroy someone in a 6 month review period, it just doesnt make sense. Be fair in your assessments, and maybe tell someone they are not meeting expectations and give them a chance to redeem themselves before it is review time. It is OK to not be experienced, but dont pretend to be educated in business management if Trader Joe's is your first job. good luck, careful what you wish for.


  9. Love TJ's

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Monrovia, CA
    Current Employee - Crew Member in Monrovia, CA

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

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    Food, everywhere all the time. Coworkers are so helpful and become good friends. Great work environment. Evaluations & raises every 6 months. Management wants to let you do stuff you like, is always asking your opinion.

    Cons

    No control over what you do each day. You must speak up and tell management what you like to do, what you want to learn. Otherwise you will be "stuck" on register a lot!

    Advice to Management

    Fire/ take to task people who don't pull their weight.


  10. Helpful (6)

    Mate

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Mate in Marina del Rey, CA
    Current Employee - Mate in Marina del Rey, CA

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time (More than 3 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Trader Joe's is an outstanding company that truly cares about their Crew. The focus is on the Customer and the Crew and the company's actions reflect that mentality.

    Cons

    Shifts are too long for management. For a company that's so progressive, they should be salaried at 40 hours a week, not 50. Training, development and destination planning transparency is also highly lacking.

    Advice to Management

    Be more open with your Crew on what their future at Trader Joe's can look like. Younger generations want to succeed and move up.


  11. Helpful (3)

    Crew Member of 8 Years

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Los Angeles, CA

    I worked at Trader Joe's part-time (More than 8 years)

    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    Pros

    Great pay, good benefits, good opportunity for growth

    Cons

    Very physical, sexist undertones, vastly different experience based on store/management



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