Identify a retail brand that you believe is socially or ethically responsible.
The first thought that came to mind for this question was Google. I work for a company in which highly values Google for the way they treat their employees, largely focusing on the benefits they offer. After realizing that I needed to discuss a retail brand, I started researching companies in which are socially or ethically responsible. I came across a family-owned grocery store throughout the United States called Wegman’s. This grocery store reminded me of Trader Joe’s!
Trader Joe’s is a grocery store that opened in California in the 1960’s and expanded throughout the United States to this day. Trader Joe’s is known for its “Two Buck Chuck”, Hawaiian T-shirts, unique products and great customer service (Our Story, 2017).
How do you believe the company conducts business in a socially responsible way? Support your answer by discussing specific examples.
I think that Trader Joe’s is both a socially and ethically responsible retail brand because they started selling products under their name brand to cut costs all around; by purchasing direct from suppliers when possible and keeping costs low for them and their customers. The Trader Joe’s website states that they don’t charge their suppliers fees for putting items on their shelves, nor do they keep product on the shelf if it is not selling. Value is huge for Trader Joe’s and I feel as though this is what makes them socially and ethically responsible (Our Story, 2017).
Has the company ever been involved in any incidents in which they were accused of not conducting business in an ethical or socially responsible manner? If so, briefly discuss the legal issues related to the incident(s).
I did a little bit of research and the only major article/information I found on Trader Joe’s was from a blogger who was expressing her concern with whether or not Trader Joe’s is being honest with their customers when it comes to selling GMO products under their private label. I did not find any legal issues related to the incident but the blogger did include that a statement that she says is from a representative at Trader Joe’s:
“We tend to not label our products a whole lot, and won’t until there is a government regulation to understand what non-GMO even means, we aren’t going to label products that don’t have specific FDA guidelines” (Food Babe, 2013).
As a Trader Joe’s customer, like the blogger, I do have to chime in and say that if I were highly concerned about GMO products, I would consider this less than ethically responsible. Although Trader Joe’s cares highly of the prices of their products, they focus on customer service and satisfaction, I would think they would be concerned about the highly populated subject of GMO products.
Do you feel the company is “green” for profit or “green” for the environment?
When I think of “green”, all I can think of is the grocery bags that Trader Joe’s uses. I wouldn’t typically think that they would be “green” for profit but I know that the Trader Joe’s in my state does charge for paper bags which most likely helps them keep their prices low. I’m not sure if every Trader Joe’s in each state charges for their paper bags but I did find that in 1992 they put a handle on the bag, so it is assumed they have always had a paper bag which is definitely environmentally friendly.
Babe, Food. “What Is Trader Joe’s Hiding?” Food Babe. N.p., 22 Dec. 2013. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.
“Our Story.” Our Story | Trader Joe’s. N.p., n.d. Web. 18 Feb. 2017.