(NEXSTAR) – In 2023, you can get just about anything delivered straight to your door. But a bag of Trader Joe’s groceries? No chance.
The popular grocery chain doesn’t sell any of its products online — not even gift cards — and doesn’t work with any third-party delivery services, like Instacart.
But that wasn’t always the case. A small subset of Trader Joe’s shoppers used to be able to have their groceries delivered.
The company offered delivery at its New York City locations up until March 2019.
“When we originally introduced delivery, we had one store on 14th Street in Manhattan, options for outside delivery services were limited and ride-sharing meant hopping into a taxi with someone else,” the company said in a statement to Supermarket News. “Today, there are seven Trader Joe’s stores across Manhattan, with more on the way, and services for transporting food and people abound.”
Trader Joe’s stopped offering delivery because continuing would have meant “passing along unsustainable cost increases to our customers,” company spokesperson Kenya Friend-Daniel said at the time.
But why won’t the company work with app delivery services like Instacart? That has more to do with the store’s ethos of being a brick-and-mortar business.
“We don’t work with third-party delivery services like Instacart or Dumpling because they can’t match our outstanding in-store value and shopping experience,” the company says.
Tara Miller, the co-host of the “Inside Trader Joe’s” podcast, elaborated: “It’s that experience of being inside the four walls of Trader Joe’s that makes Trader Joe’s what it is. That experience would not be the same if you were trying to order something from a website that just showed you the products you already know about. … When you walk into a Trader Joe’s, you’re confronted with products you may not have ever seen before. That’s part of the Trader Joe’s experience.”