PRIVATE LABEL: Trader Joe's

When a store is about 85% private label, it's natural for everyone to envy its own-brand cachet, yearn for its profit margins and fear its nearby presence. Trader Joe's evokes all those responses and more. The 300-store chain is notorious for being secretive, so analysts and observers have become the most reliable sources of information. Most think that sales per square foot hover around $1,500 more

When a store is about 85% private label, it's natural for everyone to envy its own-brand cachet, yearn for its profit margins and fear its nearby presence. Trader Joe's evokes all those responses — and more.

The 300-store chain is notorious for being secretive, so analysts and observers have become the most reliable sources of information. Most think that sales per square foot hover around $1,500 — more than twice that of conventional supermarkets. The total

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