The year numerologists say calls on us to see clearly—it is 2020 after all—certainly has started in a blur of busy-ness for our natural products community, with retailers at the front of a global health crisis. The hours put in stocking and restocking (and doing everything possible to bring product to the community) have stretched beyond comprehension. Heart and soul have gone into doing what felt right from moment to moment to serve customers in the safest way possible—to protect them, to protect staff members, so many of whom have kept up service with a smile.
No, it hasn’t been easy. Stress has required people find more inside themselves to share support when a colleague really needed it. Hearts have ached as team members worried about sick family and friends. Tears were shed when someone lost a loved one.
And business has gone on.
In this issue of Natural Foods Merchandiser, we review the fundamentals of natural retailing. These strategies sustain health food stores as the retail landscape changes.
But what sustains you, the leaders making healthy whole food and nourishing supplements available when they are most needed? Being of service. I know; I know; it feeds your soul.
Without a whole you—body, mind and spirit—without a nourished staff, your store doesn’t serve to its fullest potential.
Be good to you during these times. Take the time you need. Give your staff the time they need. Can’t do that and run the store like you always have? Fine. Close the doors early. Open late. Communicate with your customers and do what you need to do for you.
Turn the phones off for a reprieve. Find a way (I know it seems impossible) to take more breaks. Remind everyone to breathe.
Overordering. Underordering. Forecasting for the new normal. Stick with what you know. Give yourself grace and remain connected to the people you serve.
You’ve got this.
We at New Hope Network and Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine are here for you. We’re working every day to keep up with the changing economy and evolving marketplace. The path forward as this decade starts is clouded. But it’s clear health and wellness will be more important than ever—and that includes yours.