As part of the triple bottom line (TBL) focus, your organization’s CEO, Ms. Ann Hernandez, has asked each departmental manager to conduct a SWOT analysis of how transitioning to TBL will affect their departments. These SWOT reports will be provided to you for further analysis and interpretation in the upcoming week.
While you wait to receive these inputs from your CEO, you have decided to hone your business analysis skills by analyzing and interpreting the results of a well-known company, Trader Joe’s.
Review the Trader Joe’s Case Study provided in the textbook.
- Case Study: Trader Joe’s | Keeping a Cool Edge
- Your task is to create a consulting report based on your analysis of the Trader Joe’s case. In your report, address the following items:
Part 1: Key Performance Indicators (KPI)
Describe the relationship between strategic thinking and operational thinking.
- Distinguish between strategic thinking and operational thinking.
- Identify the aspects of the Trader Joe’s case that relate to strategic thinking.
- Identify the aspects of the Trader Joe’s case that relate to operational thinking.
- Determine one key performance indicator each for strategic thinking and operational thinking and explain why these are most appropriate for measuring success in marketing for Trader Joe’s.
Part 2: SWOT Analysis
- How should an organization interpret the results from a SWOT analysis?
Identify the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (SWOT) from the Trader Joe’s case. To answer this question, use the SWOT analysis template provided below. One example for each quadrant has been added to help you get started.
- Which information from Trader Joe’s SWOT analysis is internal? Which information from Trader Joe’s SWOT analysis is external?
Trader Joe’s: SWOT Analysis
Example: “Trader Joe’s culture of product knowledge and customer involvement is carefully cultivated among new hires and current employees.”
This phrase implies that the company has a process for collecting, reviewing, and using knowledge to make product improvements, which results in market responsiveness.
Example: “If customers don’t like something about a product, out it goes—count spinach and garlic from China among the rejected losers.”
Because the company tests new products with customers and is willing to take a loss if customers don’t like products, this could lead to increased opportunities costs for those products that company purchasing agents passed up and decreased profits.
Example: “However, Trader Joe’s has a cozy and intimate atmosphere that its rival lacks.”
This could be an opportunity to bring in local artists and designers to co-promote the Trader Joe’s brand and to increase local brand engagement and adoption.
Example: “search out tasty, unusual foods from all around the world”
This could be a potential threat in times like we are experiencing right now, when global supply chains are disrupted and fewer products are available.
Guidelines for Submission
In a Word document, use double-spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, and one-inch margins. This assignment should be 2 pages in length, and include references cited in APA format. Consult the Shapiro Library APA Style Guide for more information on citations.
Overview As part of the triple bottom line (TBL) focus, your organization’s CEO, Ms. Ann Hernandez, has asked each departmental manager to conduct a SWOT analysis of how transitioning to TBL will affe
Case 1 Trader Joe’s Keeping a Cool Edge The average Trader Joe’s location stocks only a small percentage of the products of local supermarkets in a space little larger than a corner store. How did this neighborhood market grow to major status, earn stellar ratings, and become a model of management? Take a walk down the aisles of Trader Joe’s and learn how serious attention to fundamentals of management made this chain more than the average Joe. From Corner Store to Foodie Mecca All across the United States, hundreds of thousands of customers are treasure hunting.1 Driven by gourmet tastes but hungering for deals, they are led by cheerful guides in Hawaiian shirts who point them to culinary discoveries such as Ahi jerky, ginger granola, and baked jalapeño cheese crunchies. It’s just an average day at Trader Joe’s, the gourmet, specialty, and natural-foods store.2 Foodies, hipsters, and recessionistas alike are attracted to the chain’s charming blend of tasty treats and laid-back but enthusiastic customer service. Shopping at Trader Joe’s is less a chore than it is immersion into another culture. Crew members and managers wear smiles and are quick to engage in a friendly chat. Chalkboards unabashedly announce slogans such as, “You don’t have to join a club, carry a card, or clip coupons to get a good deal.” “When you look at food retailers,” says Richard George, professor of food marketing at St. Joseph’s University, “there is the low end, the big middle, and then there is the cool edge – that’s Trader Joe’s.”3 But how does Trader Joe’s compare with other stores with an edge, such as Whole Foods? Both source locally and around the world. Each values employees and works to offer the highest quality. However, Trader Joe’s has a cozy and intimate atmosphere that its rival lacks. Trader Joe’s limits its stock and sells quality products at low prices – about twice as much per square foot than other supermarkets.4 But this scarcity benefits Trader Joe’s and its customers. According to Swarthmore professor Barry Schwartz, author of The Paradox of Choice: Why Less Is More, “Giving people too much choice can result in paralysis … [R]esearch shows that the more options you offer, the less likely people are to choose any.”5 Founder “Trader” Joe Coulombe opened the first Trader Joe’s store over 50 years ago in Pasadena, California. Its success led to expansion into a bona-fide chain, as Trader Joe’s stores became known as islands of value that replaced run-of-the-mill necessities with exotic, one-of-a-kind foods priced persuasively below those of any reasonable competitor.6 Coulombe eventually sold the chain to the Albrecht family, German billionaires and owners of Aldi markets in the United States, Europe, and Australia.7 Cost Control Trader Joe’s prides itself on its thriftiness and cost-saving measures, proclaiming, “Every penny we save is a penny you save” and “Our CEO doesn’t even have a secretary.”8 Its strongest weapon is a deliciously simple approach to stocking stores: (1) search out tasty, unusual foods from all around the world; (2) contract directly with manufacturers; (3) label each product under one of several catchy house brands; and, (4) maintain a small stock, making each product fight for its place on the shelf. Most Trader Joe’s products are sold under a variant of its house brand – dried pasta with the “Trader Giotto’s” tag, frozen enchiladas under the “Trader Jose’s” label, vitamins under “Trader Darwin’s,” and so on. But these store brands don’t sacrifice quality – readers of Consumer Reports give Trader Joe’s house brands the highest ratings.9 The house brand success is no accident. According to Trader Joe’s [former] president, Doug Rauch, “the company pursued the strategy to put our destiny in our own hands.”10 Customer Connection Ten to 15 new products debut each week at Trader Joe’s – and the company maintains a strict “one in, one out” policy. Items that sell poorly or whose cost rises get tossed in favor of new options, something the company calls the “gangway factor.”11 If customers don’t like something about a product, out it goes – count spinach and garlic from China among the rejected losers. “Our customers have voiced their concerns about products from this region and we have listened,” the company said.12 Discontinued items may be brought back if customers complain. “We feel really close to our customers,” says Audrey O’Connell, former vice president of marketing for Trader Joe’s East. “When we want to know what’s on their minds, we don’t need to put them in a sterile room with a swinging bulb. We like to think of Trader Joe’s as an economic food democracy.”13 In return, customers keep talking and recruit new converts. Word-of-mouth advertising has lowered the corporation’s advertising budget to a fraction of that spent by supermarkets.14 Trader Joe’s culture of product knowledge and customer involvement is carefully cultivated among new hires and current employees. Everyone is encouraged to taste and learn about the products and to engage customers to share what they’ve experienced. Most shoppers recall instances when helpful crew members took the time to locate or recommend particular items. Job descriptions highlight desired soft skills, such as “ambitious and adventurous, enjoy smiling and have a strong sense of values.” They count as much as actual retail experience.15 Strength from Within A responsible, knowledgeable, and friendly “crew” is a natural extension of the firm’s promote-from-within philosophy. And crew members earn more than their counterparts at other chain grocers, sometimes by as much as 20%.16 Starting benefits include medical, dental, and vision insurance; company-paid retirement; paid vacation; and a 10% employee discount.17 Assistant store managers earn a compensation package averaging $70,000+ a year (including salary and cash bonus) while the store managers’ packages average $109,000.18 Future leaders enroll in training programs such as Trader Joe’s University that help develop the loyalty necessary to run stores according to company and customer expectations. The program teaches managers how to get their part-timers to demonstrate the customer-focused attitude shoppers have come to expect.19 What does the future hold? Will Trader Joe’s allure of cosmopolitan food at provincial prices continue to tempt new consumers? Will management practices continue to attract the talent Trader Joe’s needs to maintain its culture and customer focus as the competition heats up? Case Analysis Questions 1. Discussion In what ways does Trader Joe’s demonstrate the importance of each responsibility in the management process – planning, organizing, leading, and controlling? 2. Discussion What lessons does the Trader Joe’s story offer to aspiring entrepreneurs who want to get off to a good start in any industry? 3. Problem Solving At the age of 22 and newly graduated from college, Hazel has just accepted a job with Trader Joe’s as a shift leader. She’ll be supervising four team members who fill part-time jobs in the produce section. Given Trader Joe’s casual and nontraditional work environment, what skills will she need, what should she do, and what should she avoid doing in the first few days of work to establish herself as a successful team leader? 4. Further Research Study news reports to find more information on Trader Joe’s management and organization practices. Look for comparisons with its competitors and try to identify whether or not Trader Joe’s still has the right management approach and business model for continued success. Are there any internal weaknesses in the Trader Joe’s management approach or new practices by external competitors, or changing industry forces that might cause future problems? Copyright Â© 2019 John Wiley & Sons, Inc. All rights reserved.