- This morning on Good Things Utah – Turns out they really do just want to know if they can help you reach that pack of Joe’s O’s on the high shelf. No, that cheerful cashier in an aloha shirt at your local Trader Joe’s is not trying to get you to pick up more than Speculoos Cookie Butter. In an Aug. 14 episode of the Trader Joe’s podcast, “Inside Trader Joe’s,” the show’s hosts, Matt Sloan and Tara Miller, interviewed the chain’s president and vice CEO, Jon Basalone, and chief executive officer, Bryan Palbaum. Together the group spoke about the company’s brand, what it has in store for the horizon, and whether rumors that it trains store employees to flirt with customers are true.
- The question came about as they touched on what the store looks for in its hires. “Here’s an opportunity to put something to rest because you’re saying (to) be genuine and be nice,” Miller prompted. “Can you please tell us once and for all, are our crew members told to flirt with customers?” “Definitively, no,” Palbaum replied, adding, “I think we just have such a unique environment in our stores that to go into a Trader Joe’s store and feel that everyone is genuinely interested in whether or not you are having a good day, compared to maybe other retailers, I could see how that might be misinterpreted.”
- “Bryan’s right,” Basalone chimed in. “I mean, you go through this world, and you run into so many people that aren’t genuine, that aren’t kind to you, that when you walk into a place when that’s happening, it feels like, ‘Whoa, OK, I think they’re flirting with me’ when actually, yeah, that’s just what niceness feels like, you know?” In response to the comments made on the podcast, a spokesperson for Trader Joe’s told TODAY.com that they had no further comment. Speculation about Trader Joe’s employees’ friendly nature has been circulating on social media platforms in the form of memes for years.
- On TikTok, searches for “flirting at Trader Koes” or “flirting with customers Trader Joes” bring forth millions of video views and scrolls of content with users analyzing checkout employees and their possible checkout item-related innuendos. “Okay, I don’t know what they’re telling these Trader Joe’s cashiers to save the customers, but I always leave thinking that the cashier is like absolutely in love with me,” one amused user says in a clip shared to the platform. “Like, tell me why I just came back from Trader Joe’s. And the whole time, I was like, ‘Oh my god this like… I’m just waiting for him to ask for my number any second now.” In another TikTok about the chain, a woman pretends to be a cashier at the checkout. “Have you tried these yet? They’re so good. You have such good taste. You’re so good,” she says before taking a bite out of a Trader Joe’s product. In the same episode of the podcast, Basalone also addressed rumors that the grocery chain would replace its cashiers with self-checkout machines calling it “false as false can be.” “Because we believe in people and we’re not trying to get rid of our crew members for efficiency sake, or whatever the, I don’t know what the reasons are people put self-checkout in,” Basalone added. We hope you tune in for this Hot Topic and so much more this morning on GTU!
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