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14 reasons to register for Expo West's Retail Store Tour

Immerse yourself in the natural retail landscape with a tour of SoCal's hottest grocery stores.

3 Min Read
14 reasons to register for Expo West's Retail Store Tour

Remember that children’s cartoon T.V. show, the Magic School Bus? Along with her pet lizard "Liz," the excellently dressed Miss Frizzle was her classroom’s intrepid leader, who used moxie and a bit of magic to guide her third-grade students in learning science.

While the retail store tour does not, regrettably, have access to a bus that flies, travels underwater or shrinks down to the size of a red blood cell to explore the inner workings of the human body (one of our favorite Magic School Bus episodes), it does have a tour bus that knows the way to some of the coolest natural and specialty retail stores in Southern California.

At Natural Products Expo West on Thursday, March 9 at 7:30 a.m. sharp, hop on the Retail Store Tour bus for an action-packed day as industry experts provide tips and in-person examples that illustrate how to merchandise products and run a successful retail business. New Hope Network editors will be your intrepid tour guides, who will offer snacks, insights into the natural retail landscape and hilarious jokes throughout the day. They’ll bring you back to the convention center that afternoon for more trade show fun.

But wait! That’s not all. Here are more reasons to register for this event.

1. You’ll learn how grocery stores in SoCal attract new customers (and encourage existing shoppers to come back) by talking with experienced natural retailers.

Related:Natural retail channel remains core to natural products industry

2. You’ll learn how beautiful, interesting signage can increase sales in certain areas of the stores.

3. Does the kombucha go next to the cold-pressed juices or near the produce department? Does vegan cheese do best next to the dairy-based cheese? Learn where best to merchandise tricky-to-place, cross-category products.

4. Does your store prioritize non-GMO ingredients? Local sourcing? Learn how best to communicate your mission statement to customers in a fun and salient way.

5. Discover new, California-based products stocked on store shelves.

6. Eat a delicious lunch prepared by one of our partner retailers—and study how the prepared food department can increase sales and attract lunch crowds.

7. See how veteran natural retailers inspire their shoppers to recycle, compost and follow tenets of the zero-waste movement.

8. Sales slumped in your HABA aisle? An in-depth store tour will show you how retailers drive traffic to non-food departments.

9. Network with other retailers, suppliers and manufacturers who will attend this fun event.

10. Hear directly from store owners, managers and employees about the sales approaches, campaigns and the mission-based messaging that has worked for them.

11. Learn how successful natural product retailers use education, in-store events and their staff expertise to generate excitement about new products and note-worthy companies.

12. Get a taste of delicious natural product samples and see how retailers use sampling to move products and create new interest in a category.  

13. Stuck in a display rut? Get new ideas for how to showcase products in eye-catching ways that attract customers.

14. And last but not least, connect with New Hope Network’s own super-cool editors (Delicious Living editor-in-chief Jessie Shafer, content producer Jenny Ivy and senior food editor Jenna Blumenfeld), who will be your guides on this educational day. Psst… we’ve heard through the grapevine they sometimes tell jokes—and wear Frizzle-inspired outfits.

Miss Frizzle always said the best way to learn was to take chances, make mistakes and get messy. Hopefully, the Retail Store Tour won’t get you too messy. But the driving theory is that in order to truly learn, you have to dive in. We think the store tour fits the bill.

About the Author(s)

Jenna Blumenfeld


Jenna Blumenfeld lives in Boulder, Colorado, where she reports on the natural products industry, sustainable agriculture, and all things plant based. 

Jessie Shafer, RD

Director of Influence & Health Education, New Hope Network

Jessie Shafer, RD, is New Hope Network's director of influence and health education. In this role, Jessie curates opportunities and appropriate partnerships for New Hope's health and wellness influencer audience, as well as health practitioner and nutrition expert audience. Jessie is a Northwestern University graduate, registered dietitian, and long-time health journalist, having worked for more than 17 years at four major publishing houses on consumer-facing health brands, including Meredith Corporation and August Home Publishing and holding the role of editor-in-chief of Delicious Living for four years. Jessie and her husband relocated from Iowa to Colorado in 2015 where they enjoy riding their bike, hiking in the mountains and being mom to a cute and curious toddler. 

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