Progressive Grocer Independent

FEB 2016

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Editor's Note By Katie Martin 6 | Progressive Grocer Independent | February 2016 I remember sitting in a seminar several years ago as a bakery retailer noted that some of his best ideas were stolen from other retailers. I'm Crushin' on You The businesses highlighted in this issue have some great ideas that can help improve your own operation. I n this issue, Progressive Grocer Independent honors 19 companies that embody the best of what inde- pendent grocery is about. No two companies are alike, and none of them found success in the same way, and that's what makes this issue so great. Several times in my discussions with the winners, I sat back in complete awe at the ideas, techniques and processes the winning retailers employed to make their businesses successful. I admit, I developed some business crushes, thinking that if I ever opened a gro- cery store — I won't, because I'm not crazy like all of you — I would want it to be like the ones showcased in this issue, beginning on page 8. I remember sitting in a seminar several years ago as a bakery retailer noted that some of his best ideas were stolen from other retailers. Tere are plenty of good ideas in this is- sue for you to "steal." Te thing with stolen ideas is that they end up not being like the original; each retailer puts their own twist on a concept and makes it something unique that will work in his or her particular business. Tis year, various themes emerged in the inter- views. Several grocers mentioned that customers often looked on grocery shopping as a chore, whether it was having to go to multiple stores to get everything they needed or simply undertaking an unpleasant task. Te solutions to this ranged from changing the product line to hit more of the categories the custom- ers needed, to making sure staf was trained to be helpful, personable and friendly to create a welcom- ing environment. You might not be able to restructure your store to ofer everything a customer needs, but you can make small strides by experimenting with the product line. And you can certainly make your store a more enjoyable place for those who might not necessarily enjoy grocery shopping. Everyone needs food, so start by making sure that your staf makes the experience as pleasant as possible. You can read about some customer service training tips on page 29. Retailers also willingly shared good things that their peers were doing, be- cause supporting a community ultimately makes for better business. Independents are uniquely in tune with their communi- ties, providing services that go well beyond simply selling food. So whether it's raising money for a specifc local charity or revital- izing the neighborhood, sharing what has worked for you can help fellow retailers improve their own part of the world. So read on about these Outstanding Independents and get set to steal. PGI Katie Martin [email protected] Celebrate the Outstanding Independents If you would like a chance to meet some of the wonderful retailers highlighted in this issue, Progressive Grocer In- dependent is sponsoring a cocktail reception during The NGA Show, at the Mirage Casino and Hotel in Las Vegas. Enjoy some light appetizers and beverages on Mon- day, Feb. 29, 6-7 p.m. in St. Croix A room. The retail- ers will be honored with a trophy presentation and speak a few words about their operations. This is a great opportunity to mingle with some of the best retailers the independent world has to offer.

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