3 PR and marketing secrets from Trader Joe’s

The remarkably successful specialty grocer built its fortune on booze—and smart marketing decisions. Here’s what you can learn from the store.

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Over time, America has embraced Trader Joe’s. Its stores sell an estimated $1,750 in merchandise per square foot, double that of Whole Foods. And this ridiculously successful, kid-friendly neighborhood market with a cult following is a brand built on booze.

Here are three marketing lessons we can learn from Joe Coulombe, the founder of Trader Joe’s, who created one of the most well loved markets in America:

Choose a specific audience that has a need.

Coulombe opened the first Trader Joe’s store to serve the overeducated and underpaid population of Pasadena—the journalists, teachers, museum curators and musicians. He chose this group because its influence is disproportionate to its salaries, and the members love to share their discoveries with friends.

Furthermore, Coulombe noted a strong correlation between alcohol consumption and education level, according to the travel and dining publication Gayote.

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