Trader Joe’s Won’t Offer Delivery or Pickup During COVID-19—and Here’s Why

Ever wonder why you can't order grocery delivery from Trader Joe's? We found out why.

Fast-food restaurants and grocery stores are giving their all to keep us happy and full right now, from switching to drive-thru orders only to rolling out senior hours for those in greater need. We can’t be any more grateful for their hard work, but while we all rely on grocery delivery and curbside pickup right now, there are some places that aren’t offering that service. Like Trader Joe’s.

That’s right: This grocery chain isn’t doing pickup or delivery during these times of social distancing (it’s even closed a handful of stores). We found out why.

According to Trader Joe’s…

Inside Trader Joe’s, the podcast that gives you a behind-the-scenes peek at your local store, covered COVID-19 and addressed the question, “why isn’t Trader Joe’s doing pickup and delivery?” Vice President of Marketing Matt Sloan explained that Trader Joe’s likes to focus on the employee, so the chain is being very careful to avoid processes or technologies that may eliminate the need for real people. Here’s what he had to say:

“Creating an online shopping system for curbside pickup or the infrastructure for delivery—it’s a massive undertaking. It’s something that takes months or years to plan, build and implement, and it requires tremendous resources…”

Tara Miller, Trader Joe’s Marketing Director, added:

“The bottom line here is that our people remain our most valued resource. While other retailers were cutting staff and adding technologies like self-checkout, curbside pickup and outsourcing delivery options, we were hiring more crew, and we continue to do that. We know that this period of distancing will end and when it does, our crew will be in our stores to help you find your next favorite product, just as they’ve always been.”

Here are some more Trader Joe’s secrets you should know.

Are There Other Delivery Options?

If you’re still not too keen on heading out to get groceries right now, don’t worry. There are plenty of other grocery chains that offer curbside pickup and delivery. And don’t forget, Amazon does groceries, too, so if you prefer the fast route, put in your Amazon Fresh order ASAP.

Still, there are some pretty great finds at Trader Joe’s we can’t get our hands on anywhere else. Check out the winners of Trader Joe’s 2019 Customer Choice Awards!

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Laurie Dixon
Having a passion for writing her whole life, Laurie joined the Taste of Home team to bring together her two favorite things—creative writing and food. She spends most of her time playing with her dog, drafting up short stories and, of course, trying out new recipes.