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I love Trader Joe’s. We’ve had one in Indianapolis for awhile and I know people drive from all around the city to shop there. I haven’t visited since I moved back up from Bloomington, but I’m pretty excited.

The privately held company’s sales last year were roughly $8 billion, the same size as Whole Foods’ (WFMIFortune 500) and bigger than those of Bed Bath & Beyond, No. 314 on the Fortune 500 list. Unlike those massive shopping emporiums, Trader Joe’s has a deliberately scaled-down strategy: It is opening just five more locations this year. The company selects relatively small stores with a carefully curated selection of items. (Typical grocery stores can carry 50,000 stock-keeping units, or SKUs; Trader Joe’s sells about 4,000 SKUs, and about 80% of the stock bears the Trader Joe’s brand.) The result: Its stores sell an estimated $1,750 in merchandise per square foot, more than double Whole Foods’. The company has no debt and funds all growth from its own coffers.

The full article through CNN/Money

(via kottke)

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