Progressive Grocer Independent

OCT 2014

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Editor's Note By Katie Martin How exciting and fulfilling it must be to be whatever it is your customers need you to be. October 2014 | Defining the Independent Market | 7 Fresh Perspective There's a new editor in town, and I want to know all about you. A s you've probably noticed, there's a new face at the top of this page. I'm the new editor-in- chief of Progressive Grocer Independent, the frst one dedicated solely to this magazine, so that means my only focus is on you, the indepen- dent grocer. I hope I quickly become a familiar face, and not just through the pages of this magazine. I want to get to know you all, learn your stories and share your knowledge so that others can beneft from your experiences. I've spent my whole career in the trade press. For 15 years, I covered a tangential industry — retail bakery (shock- ingly, you become immune to the smell of fresh doughnuts) — where my duties included covering supermarket baker- ies, so I'm not entirely new to the grocery scene. During my years covering the bakery industry, I was inspired by the passion, drive and spirit of small-business owners, qualities that you as independent grocers possess. It's this essence of the entrepreneur that I hope to capture in the pages of PGI. You are a unique group that wields a lot of power in the marketplace. According to National Grocers Associa- tion data, indies generate $130 billion in sales and employ 1.5 million people — impressive numbers for small busi- nesses that often go head-to-head with the biggest super- markets in the nation. But you bring something unique to the table. While you may have only a few locations, you often have the fexibility to provide exactly what your customers want — no approval needed from the powers that be, because you're the ones with the power. How exciting and fulflling it must be to be whatever it is your customers need you to be. PGI is an excellent magazine, and I hope to bring a fresh perspective and continue to improve it so it can become the one resource you turn to regularly to fnd solutions to prob- lems or to get ideas on how to make your business even bet- ter. What I've learned during my years in the trade press is that everyone has a story to tell. It's my job to tell that story, and tell it well, so it can help someone else in the business improve his or her own operations. Why reinvent the wheel? Somebody has already solved the problem, and I'm here to help you learn about those solutions. I also hope to bring you compelling industry data that you can use as a touchstone to judge how your business shapes up in comparison with similar ones around the coun- try. While no one else has your exact set of circumstances, as independent grocers, you're all striving to gain the biggest portion of the consumer's dollar that you can. As I learn all of the nuances of the independent grocery market, I'll need your help. Let me know your stories, what information you want to see covered in the magazine and even when we miss the mark. I'm looking to you to be my teachers, and I'm more than ready to learn. PGI Katie Martin [email protected] Nominate Your Business for the Outstanding Independents Awards Progressive Grocer Independent is seeking nominees for its Outstanding Independents Awards. The form can be found at www.progressivegrocer.com/2015independentawards. We'll be using several criteria to judge the nominees, includ- ing fresh departments, such as produce, meat and seafood, bakery, and deli, as well as operational ingenuity in areas like technology and sustainability. We also want to know about any community outreach programs you participate in and anything that gives your business that "wow" factor. From your nominations, we'll be selecting Overall Out- standing Operators, in addition to rewarding businesses with departmental and operational awards. The winners of the Overall Outstanding Operators will be featured in our February 2015 issue and will be honored at a reception held during the NGA show in February. Nominations must be in by Dec. 1, 2014.

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