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Natural Foods Merchandiser

Retail is more than just detail

How can a store owner deal with the demands of being both a leader and a manager? Pay attention to all the daily details of running a successful business, but still cultivate a visionary attitude?

Those were some of the questions explored by Bill Crawford, director of retail publishing programs at New Hope Natural Media and a strategic management specialist with a long background in natural products retailing. Retailers in attendance seemed to be paying close attention on the heels of a difficult year in retailing.

He used an unusual model—Napoleon—to explain the need to see both the details and the big picture at the same time to ensure success. “Take care of the minutiae you need to today, but be thinking about tomorrow,” Crawford said.

By both taking care of the present and envisioning the future, retailers put themselves in position for success. “When you’re sitting on a railroad track, reactive isn’t bad, proactive is better, and inactive is dead,” Crawford said. “It’s naïve to think the train is going to stop in time. The question is, how can you become more proactive in your business?”

He then proceeded to answer this critical question, providing a variety of suggestions on key publications and other tools to keep store owners on top of the latest trends.

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