This has to be cleverest management ever. Do they advertise on TV? Nope. Do they have a toy section? Nope. Do they do coupons? Nope. Do they do sales? Nope. Do they sell national brands? Nope.
What is their secret? Well, one is that stupid stuffed animal! Don't know what I'm talking about? Every Trader Joes has a stuffed animal that they hide somewhere in the store. It's always moving around. Today he's poking out behind the pumpkins, tomorrow he's with the frozen pizzas. Maybe next week he'll be sitting jauntily on top of the coffee grinders. This creature has its own name and nametag even. In La Canada it's Joe-Joe. In South Pasadena it's Little Joe. In Pasadena on Lake it's Rosie. In Pasadena on Arroyo Parkway it's Larry The Lobster. Your kids have to find it. If they find it they get a treat from a treasure chest--usually an organic lollypop or fruit leather.
You should see the tired parents agreeing to make another lap around the store, even though they are in a hurry, and the boys are waiting to be picked up at kung fu, and the lines are long, because the kids haven't found the monkey/lobster/tiger/crab yet. And while you take that extra lap....."Hey look at that! Chili lime cashews!"
Punks. They have us right where they want us with their Hawaiian shirts and free samples.
The guy who made this unauthorized spot has some additional insights into what is corrupting our minds for Joe: