Here's Why Trader Joe's Won't Offer Grocery Pickup or Delivery

Despite inquiries from customers, the grocer won't change the way they do business.

Trader Joe's storefront
Photo: Getty Images / Cliff Hawkins

The COVID-19 pandemic has shifted the way most of us shop. Instead of going to the grocery store, many people have turned to delivery or curbside pickup to reduce in-person contact. While popular chains like Aldi and Whole Foods offer these services, Trader Joe's is opting to keep things the same.

In the latest episode of the Insider Trader Joe's podcast, Trader Joe's Marketing Director Tara Miller and Vice President of Marketing Matt Sloan discussed the grocer's decision not to offer grocery delivery or curbside pickup. While many customers have asked if the grocer will follow the lead of its competitors, Miller and Sloan reaffirmed that things will stay the same. Although they understand the desire for less in-person contact, they said it's not a feasible plan for TJ's at this time.

According to Sloan, it's a massive undertaking to create an online shopping system for curbside pickup or the infrastructure for delivery. He adds that it could take months or years to implement—not to mention, it's incredibly expensive. Instead of spending money to create these systems, Sloan says Trader Joe's is committed to "investing those resources in people, rather than building an infrastructure that eliminates the need for people."

Miller says Trader Joe's most valued resource is their people. "While other retailers were cutting staff and adding things like self checkout, curbside pickup and outsourcing delivery options, we were hiring more crew, and we continue to do that."

Trader Joe's decision to not offer grocery delivery reaffirms their plan to take care of employees during COVID-19. And while you might wish the grocer would change their services, you can still shop at the store safely. Check out these 10 tips for safe grocery shopping and remember to stay six feet apart when possible.

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