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How Much Does it Cost to Open a Trader Joe’s Franchise? 2022

The unorthodox grocery store known as Trader Joe’s has a devoted following. A wide range of reasonably priced goods that are challenging to find in the bigger grocery chains is available at Trader Joe’s franchise.

trader joe's franchise

What is the Price Tag of Starting a Trader Joe’s?

A Trader Joe’s franchise fee is expected to cost between $55,000 and $65,000. The franchise fee for the supermarket Nikko is between $35,000 and $50,000.

Since Nikko Franchise is a much smaller supermarket and has less stock, Trader Joe’s would be more expensive.

This costs slightly more than the typical franchise fee, which is about $25,000.

However, grocery store franchises are more expensive because they are larger than restaurant franchises.

Initial Franchise Fee Approximation

Trader Joe’s is thought to have invested somewhere between $40,000 and $60,000. This is because of the cost of the training, the inventory, and the extra money for three months.

 The expected initial cost for a Nikko franchise is between $35,000 and $50,000. They relate these expenses to training, which might run from $1,500 to $2,000.

Depending on how many employees you now have and want to hire once the store is open, training costs may vary.

A few thousand dollars may be spent on the equipment, as in Trader Joe’s, where there is always a station where customers can sample the cuisine.

Additionally, this covers the packing tools and cash registers that are essential for a grocery store.

A sizable portion of the cost, which ranges from $20,000 to $25,000, is made up of inventory.

All the food and materials need to run the grocery shop for a few weeks are included in this.

Adding to this is the extra food for three months, which can cost anywhere between $15,000 and $20,000 to cover the initial costs of surviving for three months.

Added Charges

Additionally, there are charges for leasehold upgrades and increased working capital. Most of the $2.00 million to $3.00 million franchise fee may be spent on leasehold upgrades.

It is expected that the extra work capital will cost between $1.00 million and $1.50 million.

Depending on the location and size of your Trader Joe’s, these fees will change but bear them in mind if Trader Joe ever decides to franchise.

Financial Conditions and Costs

Since Trader Joe’s does not permit the franchising of its business, there is no financial information available to prospective owners.

 As previously said, you can register to become a vendor if you’re still interested in doing business with the company.

If you’re an entrepreneur with goods you’d like to sell in Trader Joe’s stores, you can apply to become one of their vendors.

Remember that Trader Joe’s is picky about reviewing your products. For instance, they only do business directly with the manufacturers.

They further stipulate that the items must be free of rBST-derived dairy substances and artificial preservatives, artificial colors, added trans fat, MSG, and MSG.

You may get a complete list of these certification requirements and other information here.

As a fan of Trader Joe’s myself, I can attest to the fact that they sell a variety of unusual foods besides certain personal care products like lotions and soaps.

Fill out their vendor form if you believe you can satisfy their standards, then wait for their evaluation or for them to contact you.

Average Annual Sales or Revenue

trader joe's franchise

The annual revenue of Trader Joe’s is $13.3 billion. According to reports, they outperform all other major grocery stores in the US in terms of sales, bringing in $2,000 per square foot in groceries.

The business employs over 10,000 people, according to reports.

Trader Joe’s Franchise Information

Overall Units                                                   Over 500

Organizational Name                                     Trade Joe’s Company

Since franchises                                              Doesn’t Permit Franchising

Industry                                                          Shopping / Retail

Subsector                                                        Food and Drink

Although it is generally accepted that Trader Joe’s was established in 1967, its origins can really be in the late 1950s, when it was formerly known as a chain of convenience stores known as Pronto Markets.

It changed the idea and brand to Trader Joe’s because of the intense competition the stores faced from other convenience stores that were on the rise.

The store’s name is a tribute to Joe Coulombe, who founded it. The corporate office of Trader Joe’s is in Monrovia, California, and there are stores there in over 42 states.

Read Also: Cook Out Franchise: How Much will it Cost to Open with Fees?

Their slogan is “Your neighborhood grocery store,” and they live up to it by providing reasonably priced goods. Most of the items they market are also nutritious.

As opposed to the other locations, which have about 38,900 goods in stock, Trader Joe’s only keeps about 4,000 SKUs in stock.

They may not provide as many options as other supermarket chains, but they do this on purpose to prevent customers from becoming overloaded with choices.

Another explanation for this is that Trader Joe’s bargains with its suppliers to have the lowest pricing possible so that customers can save money while shopping there as well.

Most grocery retailers purchase their goods via brokers or middlemen. Trader Joe’s will only collaborate with the product’s producers or farms directly.

 Most times, the business can lower costs by minimizing the number of parties standing between the maker and the seller.

Another reason you won’t find most of the products sold at Trader Joe’s at competing stores is because of this.

Another well-known characteristic of Trader Joe’s is that neither sales nor coupons are offered there. They don’t distribute membership cards or loyalty schemes.

They treat every consumer equally and think they should always offer the greatest deals. Over 10,000 people work for Trader Joe’s, which is regarded as the best employer in 2019.

How Much Profit Does Trader Joe’s Make?

trader joe's franchise

Since Trader Joe’s is a privately held business, they have been able to keep its financial information under wraps, making it difficult to estimate its profit margins.

 However, the company’s $13.3 billion in revenue and ranking among the top supermarket chains in the United States show how successful it has been by starting small.

The Grocery Store Guy estimates a grocery store’s profit margin is 2.2% on average.

This sector of the economy has extremely high-profit margins and a wide range of fixed expenses, including labor, transportation, and food, of course.

If Trader Joe’s had a 2.2% profit margin, it would have made more than $292 million in a single year.

Many experts also think that Trader Joe’s profit margin is far higher than the narrow industry average. More than $100 million more in profit for the corporation would result from even a 1% increase beyond the typical grocery shop profit.

The Benefits of Owning a Trader Joe’s Franchise

But what if Trader Joe’s were to miraculously start franchising, and they gave you permission to run one? What benefits might you expect from this grocery chain? Let’s discuss the following issues.

Authentic Retail Goods

Trader Joe’s is renowned for stocking its aisles with goods that aren’t often found in large supermarkets.

They also labeled most of their products with their label and have intriguing names that draw buyers in to test them.

You rarely see items like Watermelon Fruit Spread and Creamy Cauliflower Jalapeno Dip in grocery stores.

They might also look a little odd, but that’s another reason people enjoy going to Trader Joe’s.

You can be sure there will always be something new at the grocery shop because one reason people frequent this grocery chain is that it offers all these unique things to everyone.


Trader Joe’s takes pride in offering the most reasonably priced goods without sacrificing quality.

Two Buck Chuck, a bottle of wine that sells for $1.99, is a popular product.

The business also aims to make each product as cost-effective as possible. If you ever get the chance to run a Trader Joe’s in your area, you can be proud of one of the store’s strengths.

Loyal Supporting

Since Trader Joe’s is well known throughout the United States and even abroad, you don’t need to worry about marketing and advertising this grocery store to increase sales and patronage.

Among rivals like 7-Eleven and Whole Foods Market, YouGov ranked Trader Joe’s seventh among supermarkets.

Trader Joe’s Franchise Challenges

Business is not all sunshine and butterflies. Even a well-known and adored retailer like Trader Joe’s will experience difficulties. Here are some difficulties you might encounter if you ever have to operate one.

Lack of Delivery Service

You may assume that Trader Joe’s would at least examine a delivery option in the modern day. They, unfortunately, don’t.

Therefore, if you decide to run this chain, get ready for the onslaught of questions and demands from clients about how to get their purchases delivered to their doorstep.

For the corporation, this can be a long-term strategic disadvantage. This is especially true for those who cannot leave their houses or don’t have access to a vehicle.

Product Discontinuation

If a product isn’t doing well, Trader Joe’s might stop selling it.

Even while that might be a sensible business choice, some customers might object if their favorite products are no longer available.

Imagine the disappointment of some customers when they learn that their favorite nuggets have been permanently removed from the shelves at Trader Joe’s, which already has a small selection.

 You might end up choosing to shop somewhere else if they eliminate too many of your preferred products from a grocery store.

Few Sales

Customers enjoy a good deal. However, as was already said, Trader Joe’s does not advertise coupons or deals. Even though I don’t clip many coupons, if a particular grocery store has a good bargain, I’ll go there.

Imagine how much more marketing and advertising you can do to boost sales and foot traffic, even though this isn’t a huge issue if you still have a loyal following visiting your store.

Of course, offering substantial product discounts has a downside. Discounts reduce a product’s ability to make money. Because of the small profit margins in the business, sales like these might lower a store’s profitability.


Although Trader Joe’s isn’t a franchise yet, that doesn’t imply it never will be. According to the numbers, Trader Joe’s would be a somewhat pricey franchise.

This results from the quantity of inventory required to provide a grocery shop and additional costs like royalties, training, and so forth.

However, based on how quickly Trader Joe’s is expanding, This company initiative has the potential to be highly successful.

Most Americans are familiar with the national chain known as Trader Joe’s. For these reasons, many people desire to be a part of the business; if this describes you, look for a Trader Joe’s franchise.

Frequently Asked Questions

With such an impressive business operation, it’s only natural for many to inquire how to franchise a Trader Joe’s. Unfortunately, the company is privately owned and don’t offer any franchising opportunities at this time. Find an opportunity that fits your goals by completing our 7-minute franchise quiz.

As Eat This, Not That explains, California-based Trader Joe’s and its 557 U.S. stores (per ScrapeHero) are a subsidiary of German chain Aldi Nord, the sibling company of Aldi Süd, which Americans know simply as Aldi, the home of such fan-favorite house brands as Mama Cozzi’s pizzas, Clancy’s snacks, and Winking Ow

Trader Joe’s in Amherst, New York
RevenueUS$16.5 billion (FY 2020)
OwnerFamily of Theo Albrecht
Number of employees50,000+

Stern estimated Trader Joe’s gross margins range from the low to mid-20s, compared with 28% at conventional supermarkets, which have a higher mix of perishables.

Trader Joe’s is owned by families that also own part of Aldi Nord. Trader Joe’s and Aldi Nord operate independently.

6 However, there are no short-term plans for Trader Joe’s to go public. In fact, part of the reason the company has been able to achieve so much success is that it has remained a privately-owned company.

Unfortunately, Trader Joe’s is not a franchise. This grocery store is privately owned and this is most likely due to maintaining close control of the stores.

Unlike at major grocery chains, 85% of what Trader Joe’s sells is private label, allowing it to keep prices low and the quality high. Two-buck-Chuck may now cost $3.79, but the wine is still more reasonably priced than other brands, and in the last dozen years, some 800 million bottles have been sold.

The eclectic and retail-fan-favorite Trader Joe’s is well-known to its loyalists for low prices on unique food items, ranging from cookie butter to salsas, cheeses and ready-to-eat packaged meals. The grocery store chain is also known for its quirky culture.

No? Here’s another hint: It’s found in the freezer section year-round, and has taken home at least one award every year (more on that below). If you haven’t figured it out yet, the Favorite Overall Trader Joe’s Product is none other than Mandarin Orange Chicken!

Sometimes during your TJ’s visit, you’ll hear the bells ringing — either once, twice, or three times. The bells act as a “Trader Joe’s Morse code,” according to the store. There isn’t a PA system in place, so the bell is the way the team members communicate with one another across the large space.

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