As Scott Steinford, Founder, Trust Transparency Center, notes in his Tracking Transparency column exploring the impact of the coronavirus on the industry, “The most immediate negative impact of the pandemic to the supplement industry became the impact at retail. With consumer fear and lockdowns becoming the new normal, the brick and mortar retailers suffered first.”
Suffered—but held strong. Every year for the past 30 years, WholeFoods Magazine has selected a Retailer of the Year (ROTY), shining a spotlight on one natural products retailer who has been exceptional. It’s never easy to select just one winner when so many in the industry are standouts. And in 2020, as natural products retailers all throughout the country have stood on the frontlines for the good of their neighborhoods, it’s even more of a challenge to single out just one. So I won’t do that...not yet, at least. Here, I want to spotlight our three finalists:
- Weavers Way, with three stores in Pennsylvania, has a mission to provide high-quality, fairly priced foods and a broader understanding of their importance with a commitment to forging a bond between local sustainable food producers and the co-op community.
- Mandela Grocery Co-op, with one location in California, is dedicated to support businesses run by people of color and has a deep commitment to create opportunity for interdependence in the food space, where POC entrepreneurs generate livable incomes that support their families.
- Co-opportunity Market, with two locations in California, connects people to local growers, suppliers and producers with health, sustainability and ethics in mind. The goal: to strengthen community through a commitment to a strong, local food system, clean ingredients, and responsible sourcing.
Retailer of the Year does have one winner, though, and after much deliberation, and with our thanks to all who nominated retailers for the honor, we selected the award recipient. Turn to page 9 to find out who will be the 30th Annual WholeFoods Magazine Retailer of the Year.
And to all retailers, once again we thank you, and we remain dedicated to delivering insights and information that will help you support your community and your bottom line. Steinford offers one gem: He notes that we are now months into the pandemic with no end in sight, but one clear path has emerged as a way to help retailers adapt to the “new normal.” Take a look at his insights and how they can help support your success here.