Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

5 minutes reading time (954 words)

Our front line: Our retailers

nutters prince albertOur retailers coped and conformed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They hired part-time and temporary staff to help clean and stock the stores, ran extra social media contests for free products, shared baking posts and healthy recipes to encourage grocery shopping in the stores and help keep Canadians healthy. 

 

Our retailers coped and conformed during the COVID-19 pandemic.  They hired part-time and temporary staff to help clean and stock the stores, ran extra social media contests for free products, shared baking posts and healthy recipes to encourage grocery shopping in the stores and help keep Canadians healthy.

Self-care posts encouraged shopping for products in the stores and keeping busy making DIY personal care products.  They received heart-warming messages of thanks and appreciation from customers.  Some even received flowers. Here’s what some of our retailers were doing during the peak of the pandemic and how they were helping their communities.

ONTARIO: Organic Garage raised over $5,100, with the help of their customers, to support Feed Ontario’s Emergency Response Fund. Every $1 donated made three meals for someone in need. 

QUEBEC: Like many stores, Le Panier Vert’s big sellers were Quercetin, along with large gel bottles of aloe, and the biggest concern was getting product.  The store adjusted its hours and launched an online ordering, and curbside pick-up program.

MANITOBA: Vita Health Fresh Market set up bins at all six of its locations for non-perishable food items to help the not-for-profit Winnipeg Harvest to provide meals for those in needs.  

natures emporiumONTARIO: Nature's Emporium started a new curbside pickup program. After the first week, the store filled over 2,000 orders while keeping employees and customers safe. Additionally, the store offered free delivery to seniors 65+ so they had a safe way to get groceries.

ALBERTA: Community Naturals Calgary posted a big THANK YOU to part of its dedicated team, White Spot Janitorial Services, for keeping its store clean and safe for its customers.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Edible Island Whole Foods started an initiative called Karma Drops, product delivery for customers.  It had over 60 local volunteers sign up to do the Karma Drops deliveries.  It also had a few folks from local businesses join the Edible team as casual staff…while their regular jobs are on hold.

ONTARIO: Kardish’s home delivery and pick up service was well received by its customers.  It’s received many emails and social media message of thanks and appreciation.

QUEBEC: Avril co-founder Sylvie Senay made an appearance on Salute Bonjour, a Quebec TV show, explaining the different services offered by Avril,  including online ordering and pick up services. 

ONTARIO: The Hollow Willow Health Store was offering a virtual shopping experience for its local customers.  Owner Sue Serre was personally doing the tours so customers could shop from the comfort of their own home.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Choice Markets announced its in-store seminars will now be offered online via video conference in May and June.  It had also launched a cooking tutorial series on its YouTube channel.

QUEBEC: Tau Marches was hiring part-time and temporary employees.  The store offered a delivery service and opened its doors 30 minutes earlier daily for people aged 60 and over.

ONTARIO:  Goodness Me! offered curb side pickup and home delivery to customers over the age of 60.

NOVA SCOTIA: Parks Health Shop provided free delivery.  Since starting home delivery service, it received some of the loveliest messages of gratitude from its customers.

ONTARIO: The Big Carrot has received thank you letters in the mail from grateful customers.  It also implemented a curb side pick-up program.

nutters staffALBERTA: Regent Health supported its community with local delivery.  It had difficulty replenishing some of the most sought-after products, such as vitamin C, zinc, elderberry and oregano oil.

ONTARIO/MANITOBA: Harmony Whole Foods (Orangeville) and Hedley’s Health Hut (Brandon) both offered pick-up and delivery.

QUEBEC: Ki Nature et Santé delivered orders by bike messenger to residents of Montreal’s Plateau neighbourhood.

SASKATCHEWAN: Nature’s Health Center owner Lovie Wesolowski Spicer gave her staff time off, and she worked the store alone.  “I have had my store for 45 years. I have seen the circle of life in this industry. When I started, no one thought supplements had any value.  Now they are coming to us for help.”

ONTARIO: Foodsmith’s offered pick up orders.  Many staff members had decided to stay home which resulted in reduced hours due to understaffing.  Customers have sent flowers and notes of thanks and appreciation.

QUEBEC: La Boite à Grains was looking to hire an online order attendant.  The store offered free shipping and fast delivery, and its shipping palettes filled with orders daily.

yammi natural food pantryONTARIO: Natural Food Pantry was offering its customers online webinars and online ordering.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: The Community Farm Store team stocked up on big sizes of many of its favourites to save customers extra trips. It encouraged online ordering and curb side pick-up and compensated staff who continue to serve customers an extra $2 per hour.  

MANITOBA: Good ‘n’ Natural Health Food launched a free “21 Day Reset” challenge for its customers, offered through Facebook and led by Tami, its health and nutrition expert.

ONTARIO: Peaches & Green offered curbside pick-up and made local delivery available to its customers.  Owner George Chow worked the store alone.

BRITISH COLUMBIA: Nature’s Fare moved its Wellness Talks to free online live webinars.  Its April topic line-up included hormones, immune System, cleansing and gut health.   

one stop naturals sudburyONTARIO: One Stop Naturals kept the store front open but wiped down pin pads/counter and door handles with every single customer.  Customers were heavily encouraged to use the store’s unique drive thru (above).  Orders were taken by phone, email and social media, prepped and then passed through the drive thru window to the customer. •

Thanks to everyone who sent photos.  

Story: Candace Sicari.

 

 

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