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Can You Buy Trader Joes Stock? Here’s What You Need To Know!

Jenna Gleespen - August 23, 2021

Trader Joes stock featured

More and more shoppers are dodging larger grocery chains, which is fueling the shift toward patronizing smaller ones.

Traders are noticing this trend and looking to investments, like Trader Joes stock, to cash in. 

Most people want to shop at grocery stores that focus less on larger box brands and more on fresh options.

Grocery stores such as Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Markets have provided the business model for many smaller local establishments to flourish.

However, one contender to the larger grocers is Trader Joes, as many shoppers turn to this company as their store of choice.

Because of their popularity, you may be wondering if you can purchase Trader Joe’s stocks.

Keep reading to find out more about this chain of grocery stores, and whether or not you can invest in them!

Trader Joes stock

A Brief History of Trader Joe’s

Trader Joe’s is an American grocery store chain founded by Joe Coulombe

The company is a staple in many communities and currently has over 500 stores in 42 states.

However, it’s important to note that Trader Joe’s was not always called by this name.

Trader Joe’s started as a completely different store altogether.

Pronto Market Convenience Stores and Trader Joes

Joe Coulombe started his line of Pronto Market convenience stores in 1958 in Los Angeles.

Trader Joes stock

At the time, he felt that the company was too similar to 7-Eleven, and he was worried that the Pronto Markets would face fierce competition.

So he brainstormed other ideas and opportunities when the idea for Trader Joe’s came to him.

The first Trader Joe’s grocery store opened in 1967 in Pasadena, California.

The company began as a fresh foods market, and butchers would lease space in the stores to sell deli meats and cheeses.

Due to its unique product stock, trader Joe’s was a smash hit.

The first store is still in operation today, in the same location, and sees long lines stretching across its store.

Theo Albrecht Purchases Trader Joe’s in 1979

In 1979, German entrepreneur Theo Albrecht purchased Trader Joe’s as a personal investment for his family.

Theo was no stranger to the grocery store business.

 Trader Joe’s saw similar success as Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud

In addition to owning Trader Joe’s, the Albrecht family owns Aldi Nord and Aldi Sud, two very popular grocery chains that operate independently of Trader Joe’s.

After Theo purchased Trader Joe’s, the company expanded throughout the U.S.

In 1987, Joe Coulombe was replaced by John Shields.

Under Shield’s guidance, the company expanded out of California and into Arizona in 1993, and into the Pacific Northwest in 1995.

By the time 1996 had rolled around, stores had begun to open on the East Coast of the U.S.

In 2001, John Shields retired as CEO, being replaced by Dan Bane, but the work done by Shields would be remembered for years to come.

Massive Growth Means Massive Sales

Under John Shields, data has been reported that the number of Trader Joe’s stores grew by five times from 1990 to 2001.

The store was uncontrollable when it came to the growth that they saw.

Trader Joe’s sales had grown tenfold from its initial value — impressive to say the least.

News of this success has spread and been covered by publications like the New York Times.

The company still hasn’t slowed down; when looking at data related to sales per square foot, Trader Joe’s is number one.

No other grocery store comes close to Trader Joe’s, and it has the highest sales in comparison to every one of their competitors.

In 2016, it was estimated that the company made $1,750 per square foot in each of its stores.

That’s more than double what Whole Foods generates, a company once thought to be the most successful grocery store in the nation.

Currently, the company has over 500 stores and over 50,000 employees.

In 2017, the company saw $13.3 billion in revenue.

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Can You Buy Trader Joe’s Stock?

At this time, Trader Joe’s remains a privately owned company.

As such, it is impossible to purchase Trader Joe’s stock on any stock market.

Until an initial public offering (IPO) takes place, then its stock will not be available for purchase.

Who Owns Trader Joe’s?

Theo Albrecht purchased Trader Joe’s in 1979.

Albrecht passed away in 2010, and all three of the companies he and his brother owned passed to the Albrecht family, including Trader Joe’s.

What Is The Trader Joe’s Stock Price and Symbol?

Currently, there is no Trader Joe’s stock price or symbol, also known as a ticker.

Until the company undergoes an initial public offering, stock prices will not be available, nor will a stock symbol.

Private companies do not post any information to the marketplace.

Why Is Trader Joe’s Successful?

Trader Joe’s is successful for several reasons; in particular, their willingness to please shoppers comes to mind.

The company prides itself on being able to take customer feedback and apply it to operations and products.

That kind of relationship with their customers is what keeps them coming back without fail.

In-House Branding

Trader Joe’s makes a massive amount of money by selling products that are the Trader Joe’s brand.

Be it wine, dairy, or premade sandwiches, the majority of the food you’ll find on the shelves of your local Trader Joe’s is their brand.

Because everything is under the Trader Joe’s umbrella, the company saves money by avoiding other name brands.

Shoppers know, trust, and love the Trader Joe’s brand.

If consumers are happy with it, then there’s no need to change their branding process.

Trader Joe’s Competitors To Buy

Currently, Trader Joe’s stock is not available for trade.

However, if you want to invest in grocery stores, check out the following options that are publicly traded around the world.

Walmart, Inc. (NYSE: WMT)

Walmart is more than just a supermarket: it’s a colossal company that caters to every possible need of the consumer.

When you walk into a Walmart, you can find groceries, clothing, utilities, sporting goods, and office supplies.

Some locations even have expansive gardening sections.

If you’re looking to invest in the grocery industry, Walmart is a Swiss army knife.

In addition to their larger department stores, Walmart has recently started opening independent food markets.

They also have personalized ads to ensure that customers receive shopping suggestions based on personal data.

These stores, known as Walmart Neighborhood Markets, emulate the Trader Joe’s feeling.

They are bare-bones, with minimal decorating and aisles filled with food and not much else.

The only aspect that the Walmart Neighborhood Markets miss the mark on when emulating Trader Joe’s is the independent branding.

While the Great Value products are available, they are not the products that the stores focus on.

In this way, Trader Joe’s caters to the community a bit better than Walmart does.

Though, Walmart has an exhaustive catalog of products on their site.

So far in 2021, Walmart has seen $559.2 billion in revenue.

The chain regularly publishes this impressive information to keep investors in the loop.

Currently, Walmart stocks are selling for $149 each.

Trader Joes stock

Sprouts Farmers Market, Inc. (NASDAQ: SFM)

If you’re looking for an operation that’s more similar to Trader Joe’s, you’ll want to invest in Sprouts Farmers Market.

Sprouts is a supermarket headquartered in Arizona that specializes in natural and organic foods.

Shoppers can purchase fresh produce, bulk foods, vitamins, and deli items, among other things.

Each Sprouts store makes an effort to focus on the environment and the farmers that it receives products from.

Sprouts is also committed to being a zero-waste company, which applies to both packaging and the foods that it sells.

Packaging is fit for recycling, and all food that is no longer able to be sold in stores is donated to hunger relief programs or used as animal feed and compost for farmers.

Sprouts operates nearly 350 stores in 23 different states.

The company employs around 35,000 people and saw $5.6 billion in revenue in 2019.

Currently, Sprouts stocks are selling for $24 each.

Trader Joes stock

Kroger Co (NYSE: KR)

Kroger is an American supermarket that is far older than any other option on the list.

Kroger was founded in Ohio in 1883.

At this time, it’s the country’s largest supermarket by revenue and the second-largest retailer.

It’s also the seventh-largest employer in the U.S.

Kroger is one of the supermarkets that set the stage for its competitors.

Many other supermarket chains have based their layouts and designs on Kroger stores — and for good reason: it’s remained a major player for over a century.

At this time, Kroger has nearly 2,900 locations in the country.

They have around 465,000 employees working in these locations, and in 2019, the company saw $121 billion in revenue.

Currently, Kroger stocks are selling for $42 each.

Trader Joes stock

Can You Buy Trader Joe’s Stock: Final Thoughts

If you’ve got your heart set on investing in Trader Joe’s, you, unfortunately, won’t be able to.

While the company is very successful, and they make a large amount of money per square foot in their stores, they’re still privately owned.

To date, Trader Joe’s has not indicated an interest in an initial public offering.

Thankfully, however, many grocers can be invested in, so be sure to check them out if you’re dead set on investing in a grocery store.

For the foreseeable future, though, Trader Joe’s won’t be an option.


Jenna Gleespen is a copywriter specializing in finance and investment finance. Originally from the United States, she now calls London, England home.