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Natural Foods Merchandiser

What category management strategies are working at natural products retail?

urbancow/iStock/Getty Images Plus grocery store categories
Three retailers share their approaches that keep shelves stocked and products moving.

“We focus on niche items and, within those, items that we believe are good enough for our loved ones and ourselves. Not saying we don’t sell desserts, but the percentage they represent is fractional in comparison to the healthy options we represent. Our goal is to stay within our standards that are not perfect but usually surpass the norm. We are constantly adapting to demands, trends and new knowledge to distinguish our brand.”

-Anthony Papageorgiou, owner of Living Green Market in Oakland Park, Florida

“We do autogenerated orders. We also have one person monitor supplement ordering. This means we keep a very close count of products on hand and generate an order based on demand fill. If there is a run on a specific product or if one of our staff notices we are out, we will check to see if we can do an order and meet the minimum requirements. This has kept our shelves full but not overstocked and kept our inventory turning. It makes a big difference in our out-of-stocks and our inventory control. It is rough in the beginning, so start in a slow season.”

-Cheryl Hughes, owner of Whole Wheatery in Lancaster, California

“Four key strategies are important for category management at our stores: eliminating slow movers quarterly, focusing on the new 20 percent coming into the market, making sure we have all the top sellers and multiple facing top items. We put red dots on all of our top 20 percent items so we will never be out of stock.”

-Barb Hoffmann, CEO and founder of Green Acres Market chain based in Wichita, Kansas

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