Why do Trader Joe employees wear Hawaiian shirts?

IIn the store’s podcast, the founder of Trader Joe’s himself – otherwise known as the real Trader Joe, Joe Coulombe – addressed this issue. Turns out the Hawaiian theme isn’t as random as it seems. In 1967, the year Joe found what is now America’s favorite grocery store, via People, he experimented with a combination of travel and literature that inspired the store’s theme. Like Joe said the podcast listeners, “I had read a book called ‘White Shadows in the South Seas’ and had gone to the Disneyland Jungle Trip, and it all came together.”

White Shadows by Frederick Obrien is a novel filmed on an island in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, via IMDbwhile Disneyland’s Jungle Journey is an adventure movie-inspired boat ride that takes passengers through winding, palm-lined rivers, par Disneyland. This inspiration is reflected in the tropical uniforms worn by its crew members and the store’s focus on providing a fun shopping experience. The retailer achieves this feat in an environment that encourages adventure and community through its innovative and unique store brand products that you won’t find anywhere else, via Trader Joe’s.

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