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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Training your natural products store staff for the January rush

Training your natural products store staff for the January rush
Friendly, informed floor staff is important for natural food retailers, but so is knowledgeable purchasing and stocking staff.

January is coming. Is your store ready to become a “resolution destination?” This is the fourth in a series of blog posts to help get you there.

For most natural products stores, January is the most important month of the year. It’s a great month for sales, because so many people make health-related New Year’s resolutions. Many of the shoppers deciding to live and eat better are going to be new to your store, so the sales gains from January—if handled right—can lead to sales gains that last for the rest of the year and beyond.

If everything else runs perfectly and you not only bring in extra traffic, but extra traffic made up of people who are new to your store and new to natural products, be sure that your staff is ready. Ideally, you need staff that is friendly even during a frenzy and that give good customer service to all of your shoppers. Take time to remind them about the difference in shopping experience that they create. Products and pricing are important—but your people are, too! 

While the obvious focus is on staff in the aisles of your store to help shoppers find and purchase products, be sure that any staff focused just on buying or receiving merchandise are ready as well. You need the whole team to work as a well-oiled machine to get products on the shelf for your shoppers during this important month!

A few thoughts and questions about your staffing:

  • Do they know where the sale merchandise, everything that you are featuring, is located?
  • Have they had recent training on dealing with “new” customers, especially those with little understanding of nutrition and natural health?
  • Do they know how to talk with shoppers about supplements without violating the provisions of DSHEA? (No diagnosing, no prescribing, no making claims)
  • Are they focused on service, making the shopping experience pleasant and enjoyable for each shopper?

Check out more practical advice for making your store a "resolution destination."

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