Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

Opening a second store? Consider impact on staff

carolee colter opening second storeWhen you open a second business location, there may be joy and excitement. But there may also be jealousy and feelings of abandonment. In times of stress and perceived scarcity, that “us versus them” tendency can raise its head among the staff in both locations. 

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The Sweet Potato

the sweet potatoeThe Sweet Potato seems to have hit on a winning formula.  The Toronto store is built around a lot of words that begin with “f,” including, friendly, fun, farm fresh, family, full-service and focus on local.  Unite these things with organic, great pricing, an astute leadership group  and a committed, passionate staff, it is no surprise The Sweet Potato has grown from a part-time weekend venture into a 10,000 sq. ft. store, a high-powered neighbourhood hub for all things good and healthy.

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Conversations with customers

conversations with customersI believe the selling process comes down to having conversations with customers, to help guide them toward a healthier lifestyle. 

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Six new products from North Coast Naturals

north coast naturalsNorth Coast Naturals is making a big splash this fall, with the announcement the company is launching six new products.

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WomenSense introduces new PCOSense

pcosenseWomenSense continues to support the launch of its recently released PCOSense. Polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) is one of the most common metabolic and hormonal disorders, affecting one in 10 women of reproductive age. 

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Two new products for blood sugar levels and healthy nerve function from Terry Naturally CANADA

Terry Naturally CANADA has introduced two new products that Canadian retailers and natural healthcare practitioners have been asking for: Sucontral D and Healthy Feet & Nerves. 

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John Holtmann golf event raises $10,000 for CFCC

DSC 9986Golfers couldn’t have asked for a better day at the John Holtmann Memorial Golf Tournament, June 6 in Hornby, ON.  

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Fermented and Organic SuperFoods 

prairie naturalsSuperFoods remain one of the hottest and most engaging food trends in Canada.  Prairie Natural’s SuperFood line offers premium quality sources of organic and fermented superfoods that allow users to incorporate these nutritious foods into their lifestyle with ease.  www.prairienaturals.ca

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Power Iron + Organic Spirulina

vitalityAward-winning VITALITY® Power Iron + Organic Spirulina™ is powered with the highest level of iron: 45 mg iron bisglycinate, organic spirulina, plus B12 (methylcobalamin), folic acid and vitamin C.  Non-constipating, gentle on the stomach.  Results for your customer or 100% money-back guarantee.  Vegan, non-GMO, BC made, third party tested.  Learn more at vitality.ca or 888/855-7776 x 203

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Protect cells against oxidative damage

terry naturally gluthioneGlutathione levels can drop due to age, health challenges, environmental factors, genetics, or a combination of the above. The sublingual tablet in Clinical Glutathione™ ensures that glutathione is stabilized and delivered into the bloodstream. It has been clinically studied and shown to increase blood/plasma levels of glutathione (GSH).*

www.TerryNaturally.ca  855/287-2646

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Veeva’s Methylated B Complex and Theanine & Magnesium

veevaTake a good look at these formulas: Veeva’s impressive high potency Methylated B Complex with Calcium Ascorbate, and a high potency Theanine & Magnesium Bisglycinate Chelate. Look it up at veeva.ca. They might just become your favourites. Contact info@veeva.ca.

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Avril Supermarché Santé

new avril storefrontWith the June 2018 opening of its most recent – and biggest – store, located in Laval, QC, Avril Supermarché Santé continues to apply surprising, jaw-dropping new standards in natural health food retailing.

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The most effective way to create social media content

content marketingContent marketing is the strategic marketing approach of creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content to attract and acquire a clearly defined audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action.

In short, instead of offering products in your store that may or may not add value to your shoppers everyday life, you are delivering information that makes your shopper more intelligent. The framework of this content strategy is the belief that if we, as health food stores, deliver consistent, valuable experiences and information to our shoppers, they will be loyal shoppers to our store. Content marketing is focused on engagement, unlike other more transactional marketing strategies like sale flyers and brochures.

How it applies to us

Knowing who your shoppers are and what they desire from your store, you can start to craft the base of your strategy. We are innately connected to our shoppers, just by the nature of our business model, but we don’t often take the opportunity to use that connection for more organic engagement. 

Let's take a look at the competition

Whole Foods (WF) has consistently been a leader in content marketing for several years. When you look at the complexity of their website, it’s easy to break down their strategy and see why their engagement level is incredible. It makes the lives of the users easier, less complicated, faster and healthier. What more could you ask for as a health food shopper? Let’s take a look at some of the strategies.

  1. WF offers a blog, “Whole Story,” that allows customers to access recipes, displays links to buy the products for the recipes (not always Whole Foods’ products), as well as a family section and a slew of videos, links and photos for new and veteran users to access at their leisure. 

 

  1. WF targets young families and parents, which are the primary purchasers of the households in Whole Foods’ target market. There are “Kid Friendly,”  “After School Snacks,” “Back to School” sections and more.

 

  1. WF hosts giveaways and contests on its website and it seems to be one of its more successful campaigns – some posts have 3,000 - 4,000 comments!

What can we learn?

Whole Foods does not have much engagement on its Facebook page or other social media platforms. This is probably because customers are not allowed to use the spaces as ‘community spaces’ where they can post ideas, recipes, questions to other users or ideas.  Our stores can easily provide that sense of community, something our shoppers crave, without adding much more to what we are already doing. 

How do we do it?

Having an overall checklist to follow when working on your social media content can save you a lot of time and empower more than just your marketing staff to post, blog, upload and share content. Here are the five areas you need to make your content valuable: 

  •  Can the user find the content?
  •  Can the user read the content?
  •  Can the user understand the content?
  •  Is it actionable?
  •  Is it shareable?

If you’re able to engage your shoppers with carefully crafted and curated content, you’ll quickly become the place to go for all their shopping and educational needs

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The power of smart goals

brittany bairdBrittany Baird recently gave a two-part presentation for CHFA members, “Strengthening Buyer Skills.” As a grocery manager, store manager and general manager, and now as a consultant, Brittany has helped natural retailers increase net profit and sales growth and enhance operational efficiency. 

Ultimately, improving sales, profit and efficiency comes down to improving the performance of human beings. And improving human performance comes down to effective feedback systems. Here’s a conversation I had with Brittany.

CC: Why is it so important to quantify feedback, to make it measurable?

BB: When feedback is intuitive and subjective, it may not be helpful to the receiver. It’s not enough to say, “Improve merchandising.” You need SMART goals (Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Relevant and Time-based). Giving feedback in this form can be an impetus for the receiver to grow – or choose to move on. Also, measurable goals make performance reviews easier, when it’s clearly defined what a good job means. 

CC: Could you give some examples of measurable performance goals?

BB: You could set a goal of no more than five per cent out-of-stocks for buyers. 

CC: Do you need to maintain a perpetual inventory in order to measure buyer out-of-stocks?

BB: Even without that, store managers can measure with occasional spot checks of the shelves. Plus, customer complaints can be tallied. Another example is to have written merchandising standards such as: end-caps and displays fully stocked, products colour-blocked, shelves clean and dusted, signage visible and products accessible from every angle of approach. You can have photos that show a well-stocked display. That way you can hold people accountable for what the sections of the store should look like.

CC: How can you measure customer service?

BB: Do you know the 10-4 rule? At 10 feet, you acknowledge a customer with eye contact and smile. At four feet, you greet them verbally. Then there’s how the phone is answered. How long are callers on hold? Do callers on hold get followed up on? 

CC: A manager could tell that through occasional observation at different times of day.

BB: You can evaluate all the touch-points where staff interacts with customers, e.g. through social media clicks and views, and customer comments submitted.

CC: And special orders. You can record whether customers are notified within x hours that their product has come in, and how satisfied customers are with the service.

BB: I want to stress that you need to write out the criteria, the standards and the expectations if you are going to hold people accountable to them. You cannot hold staff accountable for performing up to a standard that is not written down. 

CC:  And you have to keep written materials up-to-date. As soon as one section of a manual falls out-of-date, I’ve observed that staff will stop using it. When it comes to maintaining systems, including training, everything is always needing refining and improving. Without that, you get a loss of organizational memory. Interestingly though, I don’t see front-end departments losing organizational memory of systems and standards the way other departments do. Maybe it’s because you have to stick with your systems for handling money and data.

BB: Quantifying is in the nature of POS and cash handling. There are also cash over/shorts and rings per minute. Where it’s more subjective is produce and deli. 

CC: You can still measure performance in those departments in terms of accomplishing all the tasks on checklists or to-do lists.

BB: If you define what should be done on a shift, you can tell if you have a person who can do the job. Quantifying performance standards mitigates staff turnover and loss of organizational memory. If standards are clear enough, anyone off the street can understand and contribute to the department’s success

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Women serving women

women serving womenSeventy five per cent of health decisions are made by women.  This according to Faith Popcorn, author of Power of the Purse.  I’ll add this: 90 per cent of people who serve customers in natural food stores are also women.

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New Chapter introduces plant protein “unlocked”

new chapter proteinNew Chapter has something new on the horizon.

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John Holtmann charity golf event: June 6, 2019

Fun, fresh air and fellowship are just three things you will find at the 2019 John Holtmann Memorial Golf Tournament.  The industry’s most popluar golf event returns to the Royal Ontario Golf Club, Hornby, ON on June 6. This annual charity event is held in honour of the late John Holtmann, who was the president of Vita Health Fresh Markets in Winnipeg, MB.  John also served on the Canadian Health Food Association’s board as a director and board chair. He was inducted into the CHFA Hall of Fame in 2010. John passed away in 2011. 

The golf tournament serves as a great opportunity for the industry to come together for a relaxing and fun day, and is also a key fundraiser for Community Food Centres Canada (CFCC). In 2018, the event raised $10,000. 

Registration is 10AM, lunch is served at 11AM, and the shotgun start is at noon. A reception begins at 5PM, followed by dinner. For more information, please visit chfa.ca

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CHFA Quebec: May 4, 5

chfaCHFA Quebec returns to the Palais des congrès de Montréal in the spring. 

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Engaging effectively with different cultures

carolee coulter different culturesWhat is intercultural competence? And why should a manager or owner of a natural health retailer seek to build this skill?

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Sequoia Natural and Organic

sequoia bulk binsDanielle Gauvin is one of the bright rising retail stars in Canada.  She owns two beautiful Sequoia Natural & Organic stores in Moncton, N.B. 

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CNHR News Podcast

cnhr radio hour

News, Views and Happenings in the world of Canadian Natural Health.

Check out this month's podcast here

November/December Issue

Editorial in this issue:

CHFA East Wrap-up

We'll be providing coverage of CHFA East, including new product launches, news and photos from the show and coverage of the CHFA award winners.  We’ll have some photos from the fun we’ll be having at our booth.  We’re holding a TIFF-themed event, including a red carpet, a photo wall, swag bags and mini-interviews with “the stars of the natural health industry” (the retailers!)

Follow-up with customers after CHFA East

When CHFA East is over, CNHR can help you follow-up and re-enforce all of your sales efforts at the show by blanketing your target audience from coast to coast.  

I can explain all of the advertising, new product and editorial opportunities available to you to help you maximize your show expenditures and take your sales message out into the field.  Remember: CNHR reaches all of the retailers who attended the show, plus the thousands who didn’t attend!  Think of CNHR Magazine as your only sales person that gets into all health food stores from coast to coast, six times per year.

Book now for 2020, get 2019 rates!

Book your 2020 ad plan with CNHR before December 1 and we’ll give you the 2019 ad rates, plus an extra Product Profile in both CHFA show issues.  (Applies only to half-page ads and larger).

Congratulate the Brock Elliott Award winner

Congratulate the store that wins the prestigious Brock Elliott Memorial Award for Excellence in Retailing in print in CNHR.  Your logo and congratulatory message (for only $450) appear on the page with other vendors, extending your best wishes to the winning store.

Unsurpassed value – Product Profiles

Ask me about our Product Profiles. They are super-effective and super-affordable. Regardless of your company size or advertising budget, you cannot beat the value of a Product Profile in CNHR. Reach thousands of key buyers in stores from coast to coast for only $450 per issue for pennies per reader!

Contact: Candace Sicari - candace@cnhr.ca or Katherine Stevens - kstevens@cnhr.ca

Community Board

Watch here for Job Postings, Wanted Ads, For Hire, etc. To add, contact Donna

Check out the Community Board