Ever notice how a particular task can be tiring, but the minute you switch to something else, you’re full of energy? Where did your fatigue go? Our minds have surprising power to quickly change our intensity levels and emotions. In retailing, when Labor Day arrives, if you’ve been away on vacation, it’s really tough to immediately click back into work mode. And, if you haven’t had a vacation, it’s doubly hard to stay in the groove when everyone else around you is rested and refreshed. What can you do? Change helps wake up our spirits. Here are a few ideas to help you re-energize your store and yourself in the process.
If you are an independent natural products retailer with a brick-and-mortar store, you may be feeling a bit perplexed about how to move your business forward. In today’s marketplace, several forces at once are bearing down on independents as never before.
In 1977, at age 24, I had the good fortune to become sales manager of a fledgling natural foods distributor in the Northeast. Over the next 20 years, we grew the business from $900,000 to $225 million, when we merged Stow Mills with United Natural Foods.
Before the baby boom generation (1946–64), when most work was physical and lifespan shorter, society didn’t consider the concept of optimal health. Securing food, shelter and safety took up most of our waking energy. The mass-agriculture and industrialization triggered by World War II gave Americans the ability to consistently meet and afford these basic human needs for the first time.
Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), chairman of the Senate Special Committee on Aging, held a hearing May 26, 2010, on the marketing and manufacturing of dietary supplements. The original intent of the hearing was to find and expose dangerous levels of contaminants in supplements.
You know the feeling. You’ve just packed out your big order, or cut in space on your shelves for that hot new line, or built a promotional end cap for your monthly specials. Row upon row of neatly faced products beam brightly back at you. “Picture perfect!” you say to yourself.
January seems a particularly good time to resolve to improve your business. On the heels of the Great Recession and at the start of a new decade, you may be more ready for change than ever. Here’s what I’ve learned from successful independent natural products retailers around the country.
Most independent natural products retailers today are losing customers faster than they can replace them. This is the opposite of our history. Throughout the 1970s, ‘80s and well into the ‘90s, natural products retailers held an exclusive—if only because conventional grocers didn’t want or need natural products. This limited availability of natural products forced shoppers who wanted natural foods to travel to local, and sometimes not-so-local, natural products specialty stores.