Trader Joe's
3.6 of 5 502 reviews
www.traderjoes.com Monrovia, CA 5000+ Employees

Trader Joe's Reviews

These reviews contributed towards 2013's Best Places to Work recognition. See ratings and reviews for all time.

57 Employee Reviews
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Review Highlights

Pros:
  • "Better than average (although used to be fantastic pay and benefits)"
    in 24 reviews
  • "Great benefits and a great place to work for people who don't mind working hard"
    in 44 reviews
Cons:
  • "job can not be adjusted to accommodate crew members who get injured"
    in 50 reviews
  • "physically demanding to the point of serious repetitive motion injuries with no compensation"
    in 34 reviews
  • Show more review highlights

Reviews

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6 people found this helpful  

A Great Place to Work

Mate (Current Employee)
Sacramento, CA

I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time for more than 10 years

ProsThe position of 'Mate' is the Trader Joe's equivalent of 'Assistant Manager'. Trader Joe's has opportunity for unlimited advancement, if you can prove yourself to the right people at the right time. Competitive salary and (albeit small) annual bonuses. GREAT benefits, including an employer-paid retirement and easy acquirement of time-off. Plenty of job stability.

ConsWorking a rotating shift is usually required, meaning 1-2 closing shifts, 1 midday shift, and 2 opening shifts per week. The shifts for this position are 10 hours/day, and often you stay late. The raises are one per year, and they are almost laughable, at least in the beginning. For the amount of work that this job requires, the raises and compensation should be higher.

Advice to Senior ManagementMates need to be compensated for how much work they put in. With the restructuring that happened last year, Merchants (even the ones who were demoted from their previous positions) are still receiving the same pay, raises, and benefits that they were receiving before, while the newer Mates are not. Hopefully this issue will sort itself out over the next few years as the company gets more comfortable with the new system.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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Great!

Crew Member (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time for less than a year

ProsGood pay, great discounts. I really enjoy it here.

ConsLong hours, busy but not too terrible.

Advice to Senior ManagementNone

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Amazing work experience, crew members, and products!

Crew Member (Current Employee)
Sunnyvale, CA

I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time for more than a year

ProsGood flexible work hours, amazing managers, mostly amazing coworkers, amazing products to sell.

Conssometimes not always the best hires come through, but they'll be dealt with shortly usually.

Advice to Senior ManagementContinue being awesome!

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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It's a stable, solid company that compensates employees well. Excellent health & retirement benefits.

Sign Artist (Current Employee)
Indianapolis, IN

I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time for more than 5 years

ProsPaid time off for both part and full time employees.
Great health benefits - including dental & optical.
Generous retirement plan.
Frequent pay raises.

ConsNot an incredibly professional environment.
A little bit of bureaucratic nonsense at times.
Retail hours include weekends and evenings.

Advice to Senior ManagementSome crew members would appreciate a more professional environment at times.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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Amazing

Crew Member (Current Employee)
Staten Island, NY

I have been working at Trader Joe's part-time for more than a year

ProsFun environment, great food and awesome co-workers.

ConsHeavy loads come in that you have to break down....i go home aching most of the time!

Advice to Senior ManagementAmazing role models

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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6 people found this helpful  

LOVE the food, GREAT company perks, POOR Store Management!

Supervisory (Former Employee)
Hewlett, NY

I worked at Trader Joe's full-time for more than a year

Pros1. I enjoyed the clientele that the company attracts.
2. The products they sell are exceptional in quality and price.
3. I enjoyed cooking “the spread” for the taste testing.
4. The benefits are excellent.
5. They throw GREAT parties.
6. They pride themselves on their honesty (corporate level only)

Cons1. I find them to be ignorant of even the most basic of management practices (hiring/firing/training/project-managing/time management/P & L, to name a few).
2. The company does a very poor job of training their supervisory and above levels ( i.e., worked with people that had been in a supervisory role for 10+ years and were highly ignorant of crucial, good-food practices).
3. The store was consistently poorly cleaned (the meat cases were not cleaned for many months, the cold cases were filthy; when this was brought up to higher management you were then, from that point on, “black-balled”).
4. The relentless lack of consistency and professionalism on the management level (captain/first mate/supervisory levels)were amazingly bad. Favoritism ruled (good ole’ boys club)! I was constantly amazed of the promotions that were given out like candy.
5. The company wastes an ENORMOUS amount of money on the Trader Joe University jaunts. The people teaching them MUST be related to corporate -- for they are clueless. The company possesses exceptionally poor training methods throughout all levels of the company. Small example: While at the store, if you can grab your teaching literature and hide somewhere on the premises without being seen, you can try to read a paragraph or two (which MUST be accomplished) before you must return to the floor to work -- there is no structured time allowed to study…NONE.
6. You are more than likely to be injured on this job. I will truly say, if you do NOT go to the gym 3 times a week, avoid working for this company. Not so much for the actual lifting, but the extreme demand on the few people that actually do work, (while the rest of the “divas” stand behind the desk/hide and goof off--YES,I am referring to the middle management/upper management). Many of the loading docks and lifting equipment are in questionable shape, just inviting daily injury. The stores are crudely put together allowing for easy injuries of the employees (most stores are a “throw-togethers). The cash register areas need to be upgraded immediately (this area alone allows for so many preventable injuries). W/C must be just loving that area.
7. They waste an ENORMOUS amount of money on doing the hand-lettered signs in each store. Translation: hemorrhage.
8. All of the input for ordering is done by actual body count and entered with pencil into a notebook. (For goodness sakes --the technology/software exists -- BUY IT). Again, due to the lack of training, there is an enormous amount of waste of perishable products (YES, even when the management was ordering).
9. The store I was run as if you were seven years old, with a group of your little friends, and a “Let’s put on a show!” mentality. The management was utterly clueless.
10. The supervisors have zero quality of home life. After being worked to death during your shift, you would be scheduled to return in six hours and work another ten hours.
11. The district management never looked at the store, or spoke to the other employees, he would go and hide with the manager and chat happily. All the while the store was unsanitary, with heavy losses, an untrained staff, and theft (Yes, corporate was aware of this). Nice.
12. Oh, the list could go on, and I have heard that the company has now started to slide harder. It really is a shame.

Advice to Senior ManagementCorporate:
1. UPDATE your systems.
2. Hold your Captains FULLY accountable.
3. Actually TRAIN your upper and mid-management (which in turn trains the other workers). STOP WASTING MONEY on the TJU -- my goodness, if you only knew what your employees reaction to that training is (“Yippee! Party time on the company‘s tab!).
4. If these people do not come with good management training when you hire them, why are you hiring them for in the first place?
5. You need to design a basic manual that teaches about the handling of perishables and non-perishable foods (your crews are ignorant).
6. UPDATE your registers.
7. Do away with the artists in each store, figure another way to price (WASTE of money).
8. Take better care of your employees, you are working them to death and ruining their family life.

Store level management:
Most of you need to work at self-training yourself with the common-sense level of good business practices. If you think that you will acquire a healthy knowledge-base with this company, you better live and die with TJ’s. However, out in the “real world” of retail, the performance-grade you possess from this company, will not assist you in working for a prominent company…for very long.

No, I would not recommend this company to a friend – I'm not optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Trader Joe's is not a bad place to work.

Crew Member (Current Employee)
Pasadena, CA

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

ProsHealth benefits, Pension Plan, opportunity to meaningfully connect with customers.

ConsTurn-around shifts. Never enough time to do the job the way it should be done. Poor communication.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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2 people found this helpful  

Fun, energetic and always something different at Trader Joe's

Crew Member (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time for more than a year

ProsGreat pay and amazing benefits for working at a supermarket. You need to maintain 20 hrs/week to keep them, so even if this is a part-time/second job, you can get dental, vision, medical and prescription quite affordably. Eligible for two raises per year (every 6 months)

If you enjoy talking with people and have a fun, energetic, customer service oriented personailty, you'll be a great fit here. Despite dealing with some customers who are not the best, most of well educated, know and udnerstand product and aspects of the store and are not like shoppers in your normal grocery store.

Always doing something different: there are no departments so you get to do a little of everything. Working to floor and putting up product, running a cash register, collecting shopping carts and baskets, etc. You're not stuck doing the same thing for a 6 or 8 hour shift every day.

Don't need to have food knowledge, but helpful to know about the store and products. Always opportunities to try ned things and learn about the products.

ConsThere is lack of structure to the company on a store level. Generally when hired, you are just thrown at tasks and not always throughly trained. There is no training program outside of reading the handbook and some paperwork and watching a couple of quick safety videos. Can become quite stressfull the first couple weeks to months.

The "managers" are called merchants and mates and can be people who are immature, inexperinced, younger than you and overly bossy/act as if they own the place, even when the company stresses "No Beauracracy."

In any store, there can be a lot of additional rules added in that are not company standards that make things awkward or difficult and quite frustrating.

Reviews, though 2x/year can become vague and only give moderate feedback, with the review being broken down into sections where either a crew member "Met Satisfaction" or "Did Not Meet Satisfaction", therefore leaving you without a gray area in which many people fall for certain sections.

Advice to Senior ManagementCreate a better training structure that can be used company wide for new hires.

Don't hire people just based on their personality. It is easy for someone to put on an act in the preliminaey interview and turn into someone else once hired. People need to be friendly and communicative with customers.

Create a better path for growth within the company with potential timeline or stages/goals to achieve. There are some people who want to move up and some that are moved up due to favoritism/having connections and there is no understandable path to be promoted.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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1 person found this helpful  

Good for in-between work

Crew Member (Current Employee)
San Francisco, CA

I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time for more than 3 years

ProsCulture
Energy
Good pay(for what it is)
Not really a dull moment

ConsA LOT of favortism
some managers can be micro managers
Some managers just suck

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend

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1 person found this helpful  

I've had a great time engaging with customers and my co-workers are a pleasure to work with.

Crew Member (Current Employee)
New York, NY

I have been working at Trader Joe's full-time for more than a year

ProsDiscount on food; health benefits; flexibility (especially with students or employees who hold two or more jobs. Being able to do different tasks in the store allows for less routine and more spontaneous contribution.

ConsSome of the cons of working here involves the rudeness of customers, but that is hardly an epidemic. The workload may be overwhelming and the fast paced nature of the store could cause stress to workers who are unprepared.

Advice to Senior ManagementContinue to ask your crew on their opinions and ideas on how to improve work conditions and creating efficient strategies for working in the store.

Yes, I would recommend this company to a friend – I'm optimistic about the outlook for this company

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