Very informative and well written. It is amazing that Trader Joe’s is able to outperform many of its much larger peers by executing well on a lot of the “soft” stuff (employee satisfaction, hiring practices, organizational structure and customer service). I also found it interesting that TJ’s decided to bring distribution in-house as many of the grocers don’t view managing distribution/logistics as a core competency. Do you have a sense of whether return on capital metrics (essentially any metric capturing capex required for internalizing distribution) for TJ’s are still superior to its peers?
My TJ’s runs will never be the same again!
Hi Batman – Robin here. You always do such a good job in everything you do; that’s why I’m proud to be your right hand man. I think you correctly identified that pain point in the two-sided marketplace that Hello Alfred participates in will be scaling the supply side (i.e., hiring qualified butlers) given the current manual process and the company’s desire not to compromise quality. Aside from supply side scalability, do you think that Hello Alfred will have difficulty scaling geographically? Presumably, city/population density will affect unit economics of this business (i.e., more attractive in New York vs. Kansas City)?
Excellent description of how terrible Toronto’s public transportation system is. Since road traffic continues to increase and, as you mention, there are very few alternatives to get around in the city, do you think it’s possible to increase fares beyond the current $3/ride? This revenue increase could help the city raise funds to continue doing what it needs to do to succeed; invest in infrastructure. Also, do you think changing from a token based payment system to an electronic ticket/card will increase ridership (similar to comparable modern cities)?