Progressive Grocer Independent

OCT 2016

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Cover Story 12 | Progressive Grocer Independent | October 2016 Harvest Natural Market they spend in the store. "You can spend two hours here doing your shopping, eating your ice cream, dining," Ergen observes. "You can do everything." Along with product selection and customer service, Harvest Natural Market also differentiates its market from the chains or big-box stores by the type of locations it selects. All of the stores, both the ones opened and the ones in the planning stages, are located in neighborhoods away from busy main intersections. "Within communities is what we like," Chapman says. Customers often walk, bike or even rollerblade to the stores, and employees easily get to know the shoppers. "Everybody is a customer, a friend and a neighbor. ey're not a number," Chapman adds. "We want to interact with our customers; we want to be the grocery store in the community." Customer Satisfaction e store's whole training program is geared to customer satisfaction. Employees, no matter the depart- ment to which they're assigned, are encouraged to engage and interact with customers. Every customer they see, they should speak to, Chapman notes. In the service departments, staff actively promote sampling. Any bread or gelato can be sampled before a customer purchases it, or even a hunk of meat can be grilled to show a customer how good a cut is. "Our training is based on how we can make our customers happy, how they can leave our store happily and want to come back," Ergen says. e small size of the store also makes shopping more convenient while still managing to provide everything a customer may need. e market-style concept makes it easy for shoppers to move from depart- ment to department. In the vestibule of the store is the floral department, and directly inside the doors is the produce department. e bakery department produces French and Italian breads from scratch, with fresh product coming out of the ovens every 30 minutes to an hour. All products are made with certified-organic or all-natural ingredients, and never contain LOCAL MEAT The meat department features a branded Harvest Ranch showcase, which sells meat raised at the company-owned ranch. "We said, 'We're not going to be boring; the store needs to be more interactive.'" —Inci Akpinar

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