Natural Foods Merchandiser

Best Business Practices Are Education Focus

Industry experts and marketing and management strategists will be on hand to speak at Natural Products Expo West's education program, March 6 to 9. Seminars were developed because retailers want and need strategies to make their businesses successful. "Retailers are certainly facing more competition from every angle these days. But traditional natural merchandisers are continuing to do well in this climate because there are niches that aren't being filled. We design our Expo Education program to help retailers find and understand those opportunities to be more successful," says conference manager Sharon Cook.

Program highlights include:


  • Brand Your Store, New Customers Will Come: Peter Farber, principal of Loyal Customer a naturals retail consulting company, will discuss how to create a brand at the store level and how to use that brand to bring in new customers and keep existing customers loyal.

  • Latin Handshake: Making the Most of International Organic Supply: Retailers can learn to overcome the challenges of international organic regulations to provide fresh produce year-round for their customers.

  • Store Operations: Deli Equipment Coups and Catastrophies: Allen Seidner, president of Thought for Food Consulting, will explain common pitfalls and operational success stories retailers have had starting or expanding a deli department. He'll give retailers pointers—and a spreadsheet—to help with planning.

  • E-Commerce Personalization Techniques That Work: Learn how to boost customer loyalty by making a virtual presentation that is relevant to the individual shopper.


  • Hot Organic and Natural Product Trends: An overview of what to look for on the show floor—which new products promise to be top sellers?

  • Label Mania? Value-Add Labeling at the Store Level: A debate and discussion about the new eco, fair trade, free farm, locally grown labels. Do they help or hinder the consumer?

  • Managing the Family in the Family Business: Do you work with your spouse, children or other family members? Carl Spina, co-founder/president of Family Business Consultants, will explore effective solutions to the problems of succession, workplace-home harmony and exit strategies. (See related story.)

  • Building a Team and Creating Teamwork in Your Workplace: Carolee Colter will discuss techniques for working with your team to clarify mission and goals. She'll provide templates for developing operating rules and methods for maintaining accountability among the team.


  • Building Green in a Black and White World: The use of sustainable building products is one of the fastest growing trends in the construction industry. Learn how to incorporate green building into new and remodeled facilities and how to make a green ethic part of your company culture.

  • Making Waves in the Bottled Water Category: Learn effective merchandising techniques, evaluate sales trends and clarify the classifications from both source and health-benefit perspectives in this dynamic category.

  • Stop, Look, Touch and Buy: The Dynamics of Merchandising: George Whalin, president of Retail Management Consultants, will present a slideshow designed to help retailers become better merchandisers. He'll also give tips to manufacturers about how to create useful point-of-purchase displays to help retailers sell more product.


  • DSEA: Communicating the Benefits of Dietary Supplements to Improve Public Health: Learn more about this nonprofit coalition and its Web site, designed to bring more meaningful, factual information to consumers on the good news story of dietary supplements.

For more information about the other 40 seminar presentations at Expo West, log on to and click on the attendee link; then click on education.

Natural Foods Merchandiser volume XXIV/number 2/p. 18

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