Each year, in our spotlight coverage of the WholeFoods Magazine Retailer of the Year (ROTY), we ask the honorees to share their insights and advice for achieving success. When I asked Jon Roesser, General Manager for 2020 ROTY winner Weavers Way Cooperative Association, for a nugget of wisdom, he replied, “I don’t really give advice to other retailers. I figure they probably know as much as I do or more.”

He didn’t give me the kind of headline-worthy gem that editors love. He actually gave me something better. We’re not conquering 2020 by following some canned blueprint to success. We’re managing 2020 by having each other’s backs, by sharing our experiences, by being transparent about our failures as well as our success, and by knowing that we certainly don’t know it all, but that if we engage with others and really listen, we can learn a great deal and do so much better.

Here, members of the Weavers Way team discuss lessons learned, including how 2020 offered up some important teachings on ways the co-op was falling short, and the opportunity to implement positive change.

Also in this issue, retailers across the country speak candidly about their pandemic experiences with WholeFoods Merchandising Editor Jay Jacobowitz. We thank them for taking the time and being so honest about what has worked, what has failed, and what they are forecasting for the future.

We would love to hear from you, too. Each story shared is an opportunity to help a colleague avoid a pitfall or accomplish a goal. Please email us at editor@wfcinc.com if you would like to share lessons learned in 2020—even the small stuff can be a big help. Let’s keep the conversation going.

And to be sure that you are up to date on all the need-to-know information that can help you navigate these times, head to www.WholeFoodsMagazine.com for the latest breaking news, expert columns, helpful blogs, and more.

To ensure you never miss an issue of WholeFoods Magazine please sign up for our digital edition at www.d3data.net/who. We’re also updating our website daily with breaking news. Check in daily for the latest, and follow us on social media—Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Instagram—for updates.

Each week, we send out four e-newsletters targeted to the natural products industry, so you can get the latest news right in your inbox. Go here to sign up for any or all of our newsletters—In the Know; In the Know Grocery; In the Know Dietary Supplements; In the Know Suppliers—so you are always in the loop.

Join Us for More Education & Networking!

On January 20-21, 2020, WholeFoods Magazine and Trust Transparency Center will host our next virtual event in the #NaturallyInformed series: Mental Wellness: Mastering the Market. This Naturally Informed event will cover a wide range of pressing topics focused on boosting brainpower with strategies such as nootropics and brain hacking, as well as fostering mental wellbeing by enhancing stress resilience, elevating mood, and more. An impressive line-up of world-class experts will provide insights on the latest science and technologies driving development, merchandising and communication strategies for brands and retailers, and the inside scoop on what will drive new opportunities in the market. We’re in the planning stages now, so please tell me: What topics would you like to see covered? We’re here to deliver the information that will help you reach your goals, so I would love your input! Email me at editor@wfcinc.com. And stay tuned to https://naturallyinformed.net/ for event details, including how to reserve your spot for this free event and our next event, focused on NutriBeauty, in April.