Natural Foods Merchandiser

Retailer roundtable: What is your store's resolution for 2010?

Liza Tedesco, general manager of Chico Natural Foods Co-operative in Chico, Calif.
“We are looking to increase our community outreach and community engagement. That looks like more community participation with groups like the Environmental Resource Council, the Chico Peace and Justice Center, Chico grange and the local university. We have a new member services and marketing coordinator position and with the attention given to that area, we’ll be able to start building programs that will involve members of the community in ways that we haven’t done before.”

Sara Kaplan, co-owner of Native Roots Market in Norman, Okla.
“Other than our continuing goals like further educating our customers and reducing our footprint, we are hoping to start an in-store community supported agriculture [program] so that we can sell even more food from our local farmers. We are also looking into the possibility of getting an electric car or two, depending on the tax credits available.”

Richard Benson, owner of Herbal Emporium in Lake Havasu City, Ariz. “Survival. The economy is not exactly the most robust, and competition is becoming even more ferocious. Plus, the suppliers are increasing the prices of the products. We got a big price competition and a squeeze. Survival means that we are here in 2011. We’re just going to try to make it like everybody else.”

Brian Talley, manager of Vitamins Plus in Little Rock, Ark.
“To grow and get bigger. We are doing an expansion on March 21 from around 3,600 square feet right now to double that. We’re going to add some freezer space and a gluten-free section. We’re adding a lot. We’ll be eliminating a lot of the space issues that we’re having right now, which also means we’ll be able to offer more merchandise. We are doing it now because the sales are in the positive and we have an owner that has the means to make it all happen for us.”

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