Trader Joe's Reviews

Updated April 20, 2015
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3.2
75 Reviews
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Trader Joe's Chairman and CEO Dan Bane
Dan Bane
50 Ratings

75 Employee Reviews

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  1. Great place to gain customer service experience

    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    Former Employee - Part Time Crew Member in Irvine, CA
    Former Employee - Part Time Crew Member in Irvine, CA

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

    Recommends
    Recommends

    Pros

    Excellent working environment with a mixture of young and old employees who are outgoing and willing to help you learn. Everyone was generally understanding and happy to offer help whenenver possilbe

    Cons

    Because there are so many employees working at one time, it is at times difficult to get noticed for doing a great job. There were annual reviews, in which you could receive a small raise if management deemed appropriate

    Advice to Management

    Keep hiring cheerful employees who enjoy working with people on a daily basis. The atmosphere and customers caters to those who are outgoing.

  2. Helpful (10)

    Main Office is Run Like a Tiny Company w/o a Defined Culture

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

    I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Trader Joe's continues to grow - somehow (see cons)
    Good benefits
    Good brand
    Customers are happy
    Good food
    Annual party is fun

    Cons

    * No defined culture. Anyone can behave anyway they want. Several law suits against TJ as a result of the former loose cannon Controller. Her boss, the COO, let her ruin peoples life's / careers due to her outbursts and intimidation tactics. Her staff won't even participate in meeting discussions, afraid they will get fired if they speak up.
    * IT is a mess and the last priority for TJ. No disaster recovery, all software is out of version, and the IT VP is creating a smoke and mirror environment where everyone is frightened and knows he says one thing and does another. Very calculated killer, and willing to do anything to make himself look better while crushing others.
    * Dan walks around the open / cubical environment with his hands in his pockets, finds 2 people discussing an important issue and says "Do you know why conference rooms were invented?"
    * Office furniture is old, falling apart and chairs are back killers and dust is built up every where creating an unhealthy environment
    * Conference rooms on the executive side are "unaccessible" for meetings because they are next to the executives - and there are not enough conference rooms. Lots of meetings are held outside. If the TJ University is in session, then there is no where to meet.
    * Scheduling Conf rooms is straight out of the 1950's. No integration with Outlook, per Dan. A binder with 3 months worth of dates for all the rooms is kept in the lobby. A complete waste of time and inefficient for all involved, again, upper management's head in the clouds not caring about how this impacts productivity.
    * TJ prides itself on not adding headcount, but adding more work to the people. This creates a lopsided work/life balance, frustration and a feeling of upper management being out of touch.
    * Complacency is rampant. No one cares, no one wants to give any suggestions, and most of the people have been employed for 20+ years and are so out of touch with the outside world, it is a throw back in time.
    * Annual "anonymous" gallop survey for the main office not favorable. Dan called all Managers together and told them "If you don't like it hear, the door is over there, go ahead and leave now". Very telling - and self describes the culture Dan and his inner circle create.

    Advice to Management

    * Create a friendly, caring and defined culture for the main office
    * Take pride in the working environment. Make the people feel important, and provide a decent working area. The furniture is outdated, faded, scratched, stained and broken. A 12 billion dollar company should make their staff feel wanted. Dust the office periodically, clean up the conference rooms, and provide markers that work. Wires everywhere, dangerous equipment in conf rooms, clean up the mess.
    * Wake up and look around. Take responsibility for the people that are behaving in a non-TJ manner and understand what that means.
    * Stop the hypocrisy. Get in touch with the people.

  3. Helpful (3)

    At one time it was a great place to work. . .

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 8 years)

    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook

    Pros

    Physical work, keeps you in shape

    Cons

    Dysfunctional management. Spineless and unable to discipline effectively.

    Advice to Management

    Ditch the new 'system' where managers dictate jobs on the hour. The old log system, where a crew member has his/her name on a task, and thus feels personally responsible for the quality of the work, functions much better. Any floor manger who know what he/she are doing will be able to anticipate the needs of varied sections with a hand written log.

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  5. Helpful (4)

    Was a great company at one time.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    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 8 years)

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

    Pros

    Pay rate is competitive (but not enough to live off of or support a family.) Benefits are decent if you work long enough. Fellow crew members are usually interesting people, and most stores are made up of friends.

    Cons

    Pay rate is barely enough to live on but to much to quit, locks you in. A lot is expected of you and it is very customer-first, the company will not take your side. The upper management and human resources department are nightmares to deal with.

    Advice to Management

    Nothing to be done now that TJs has gone national. My advice is only work part time and focus on another career.

  6. Helpful (3)

    It's great if you can get a good captain, otherwise it's just pretty good.

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

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

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

    Pros

    It's a relaxed culture where you can be yourself with tattoos, different hair and unique personalities (as long as you're not crabby to the customers or your crewmates). It also has a really good starting salary (especially if you have previous retail experience). As part of the Crew, you don't specialize. You will work ALL ASPECTS OF TRADER JOE'S. Everyone, from the Captain to the Mates (asst. mgrs.) to the Crew, works register, unloads trucks, stocks shelves, greets customers, works Demo (where they give food samples) and cleans up. TJ's stresses product knowledge, so we have food and wine tastings weekly.

    AND if you make TJ's your career, you can have a very good life, because the Mates make VERY GOOD MONEY ($50k to $90k) and the Captains ($90k+). It's not brain surgery, folks, but if you like people and are friendly and helpful (and patient with others), you will really like Trader Joe's. Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. The benefits are good (in CA, 700 hrs a year qualifies you for health insurance) and for those under 30, you get a yearly bonus (but for those over 30, you get the bonus as an IRA contribution).

    Cons

    Like any job, the job is only as good as its leader, and if you get a crappy Captain or lazy mates, the days can suck. The Captain at my store had 30+ years with the company, but was the most indecisive man I'd ever met. Today this, tomorrow that. It made things confusing. Also some of the Mates came in as managers, so they weren't promoted up from crew. THAT makes a huge difference! The crew would often get angry that they didn't pitch in to help enough due to a perceived sense of entitlement. Then whoever writes the schedule says our sales are low and cuts Crew on the busiest days. We all have to rush around and some have gotten hurt (including me), but we should be grateful to have a job, right?

    Those who work smart aren't always rewarded, while those who have been with the company more than five years seem to put their feet up and do as much of the work as they want to. They have the best shifts, yet the majority aren't the best workers. This leads to a cascade effect where work not done or done incorrectly falls on YOU. And like every other job, there is favoritism, but as long as it doesn't affect my money, I don't care.

    Oh, and the customers. The majority (85%) are nice, but the others? You have to bite your tongue and be kind when you get insulted, treated rudely or yelled at. Remember: the customer is always right, even if they're a ranting nutjob.

    Advice to Management

    When you see a store that's hemorrhaging Crew Members, take a look at the Captain and Mates. Our store has had so much turnover lately, it's surprising. When I ask Crew at other stores if they lose people frequently, most don't. Oh, and managers-- feel free to COME IN THE STORE and talk to the Crew. We're the grunts on the front line of your image, so check in with us and see how we're doing. Many of us have great ideas for improvements.

  7. Friendly Atmosphere

    Former Employee - Help Desk Coordinator in Monrovia, CA
    Former Employee - Help Desk Coordinator in Monrovia, CA

    I worked at Trader Joe's full-time (More than 5 years)

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

    Pros

    Friendly, Flexible, Great People, Company values

    Cons

    They run a 'tight ship' so expect to specialize but wear many hats.

    Advice to Management

    Remember the dedicated hard work the office does to support the stores.

  8. A Great Place To Work

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

    I have been working at Trader Joe's

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

    Pros

    Above average wages/salary. Fantastic retirement plan. Great Benefits. Employee discount on all products.

    Cons

    Inconsistent hours for most members of management. Sometimes difficult to get time off.

    Advice to Management

    Praise often, be direct, consistent and hold everyone accountable.

  9. Crew Member

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

    I worked at Trader Joe's part-time (More than 3 years)

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

    Pros

    A great place to work as a student. Benefits and flexible hours to work around class schedules. Great people to work with

    Cons

    Various levels of competency among full timers/management

  10. Great Company To Work For

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

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

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

    Pros

    Flexible Scheduling
    Raises twice a year
    Many food/wine tastings
    Decent Health Insurance for those working on average 30 hours/week
    Great people to work with
    Safe environment
    Paid time off

    Cons

    As a crew member, hourly pay capped at around $21 an hour
    Slowly making cuts to overall benefits but looking to improve on those again

    Advice to Management

    More advice to CEO: promoting from within is better than taking others from the outside. Go back to the Trader Joe's tradition of doing that.

  11. Helpful (5)

    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
    Current Employee - Crew Member in San Dimas, 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 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 Management

    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.

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