Once again, Trader Joe’s has won first place.

Not for Grocery Chain Most Loved By Its Shoppers. Although, it is feasible.

Instead, it’s for Grocery Chain Most Loved By Its Employees.

Sure, not every single clerk or shelf-stocker or storeroom-jockey is completely blissed out from the moment they check in until their shift ends. However, apparently many of the people who work at Trader Joe’s LOVE Trader Joe’s: In Forbes’ annual survey of companies most beloved by their employees, TJ’s came out on top.

“Forbes teamed up with market research company Statista to pinpoint the companies liked best by employees in our annual ranking of America’s best employers,” according to an article in Forbes.

“Over the past few years, a Monrovia, California-based grocery chain has been steadily scaling the ranks, rising 18 spots in two years to hit No. 2 in 2018. This year there was just one place left to climb, and the retailer proved it was up to the challenge, securing the No. 1 spot ahead of competitors Costco Wholesale (No. 4) and Wegmans Food Markets (No. 19). Since founding as convenience store Pronto Markets in 1958, America’s best employer has come a long way, even changing its name over the years. You may have heard of it: Trader Joe’s.”

So why, you ask, is Trader Joe’s so popular with its staff?

Here’s the company’s take:

“We’ve been around for over 50 years, and we’ve never had layoffs. We stay true to what we know works for Trader Joe’s and our crew members,” says Jon Basalone, president of stores at Trader Joe’s. “You combine that with the pay, benefits and supportive, fun environment, and people tend to want to stick around.”


Here are some of the reasons that Forbes cites:

* Favorable minimum-wage scales that are uniquely adapted to the job market in each location. For example, in Washington, D.C, even part-timers can earn up to $24.75 an hour, thanks to local market conditions.

* Benefits such as health insurance, paid time off and a company-funded retirement plan are offered to everyone, from those working part-time in the store to full-time big-shots at the corporate level.

* Because Trader Joe’s is open 18 hours a day, seven days a week, workers can enjoy a lot of flexibility in syncing their work to their nonworking lives. “No matter what people have going on in their lives, whether they’re students, whether this is their second job, whether they’re pursuing other interests and just need a job, we can help them,” Basalone tells Forbes. “We hire individuals, we embrace their individuality and we get the work done through teamwork.”

* And then there’s those Hawaiian shirts and name tags that employees all wear, including the term “crew members,” which tends to muster up good team spirit.

* Those crew members also enjoy tangible real-time benefits, like being able to taste-test “whatever variation on Speculoos Cookie Butter the store has dared to dream up next during a tasting panel: a twice-weekly practice at Trader Joe’s, during which crew members sample and weigh in on products before they hit the shelves.”