Canada's business magazine for traditional natural health retailers

Curb cravings, increase energy

keto activWhether for weight-loss, athletic performance, mental clarity or anti-aging, KetoActiv is an exogenous ketone that does not induce gastrointestinal distress.

KetoActiv is a powder that when mixed with water helps control the appetite, curb cravings and increase energy.  KetoActiv promotes mental focus and clarity, supports cognitive health, reduces inflammation, improves strength and endurance, preserves and protects the muscles, and provides healthy blood sugar levels in diabetics. Learn more at www.sunforceorganics.com

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Misleading TV ad inspires Calgary retailer

sunnside health storePatty Nowlin and Pat Guyn – the husband and wife owners of Sunnyside Natural Market in Calgary – were in California in 2012.  They were there at the same time state residents were asked to vote either for or against mandatory labelling of products that contained GMO ingredients. 

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Fulfilling your store's customer service potential

rebecca torpie1Rebecca Torpie, former marketing manager for a natural foods co-op in Philadelphia and now a consultant in marketing and brand strategy offers some insight on exceptional customer service.

Even with brick and mortar retailers struggling against online stores, and the mass market undercutting prices on natural and organic products, our industry has an opportunity for competitive advantage—offering exceptional customer service. Is there room to up your store's service game?

Recently, I had a conversation with my colleague Rebecca Torpie, former marketing manager for a natural foods co-op in Philadelphia and now a consultant in marketing and brand strategy.

Carolee Colter: Define customer service...

Rebecca Torpie: There are several pieces to customer service.  This includes having operation systems in place to meet basic expectations; for example, having an accurate POS, adequate parking, and clean washrooms. Beyond that, customers have expectations to be wowed and delighted.

Carolee Colter: How do managers make certain that wowing and delighting occurs in their stores?

Rebecca Torpie: First, leaders must articulate to the staff what it means to be a great customer service operator. If you can’t articulate it, you can’t share it. You need a customer service philosophy. Using an “off the shelf” philosophy developed by others is okay as long as you follow through and ensure that philosophy is used throughout the entire store.

Then you need to ensure training is done systematically for all employees at all levels, and not just for new people. Plan for training, say, every quarter or every six months.

Carolee Colter: What methods work best for staff training?

Rebecca Torpie: There should be written materials for trainers to follow to ensure consistency in what people are taught over time and across departments. Role playing works very well for practicing responses to difficult interactions so that people feel prepared. Be aware that role playing could make people uncomfortable, so keep them light and fun. And make sure staff feels comfortable going to their managers with a question.

Carolee Colter: How about training for internal customer service?

Rebecca Torpie: Customers observe how staff members interact with each other. In the training, address how to handle peer-to-peer interactions, including across departments.

Carolee Colter: At a store I consulted for, they had a saying, “Stay, listen and learn.” If you don’t know the answer to a question, take the customer to someone who knows the answer and then stay and listen to your coworker’s response and learn the answer for next time.

Rebecca Torpie: Also, budget for desk time and research time in employee schedules so they can learn about the latest products. Cultivate a culture of using downtime for learning. Also take advantage of sales reps’ offers to train about new products.

Carolee Colter: Another learning opportunity comes if a manager needs to step in to “make it right” with a dissatisfied customer. Then the manager can debrief with the employee, do active listening, acknowledge any bruised feelings and coach on how to handle it next time.

In the end, the culture of an organization is what the leaders actually do, not what they say. Should leaders always be asking themselves, “How do I personally delight and wow the customers?”

Rebecca Torpie: Leaders certainly do model for the rest of the staff. You can’t expect the staff to do what you won’t do.

Carolee Colter: How about leaders who are introverts? Once an introvert explained to me that everything he did in public was “theatre.”

Rebecca Torpie: Some people have a high comfort level interacting with customers, others less. But customer service is a part of doing business. You need to put on your social face and not fake it. It’s about quality, not quantity. If you make two good touch-points with customers that are excellent, that’s better than ten that are mediocre. •

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Make your health food store a winner

make your health store a winnerWhich silver car is it?  Tony Kibonge shouted, as I tagged a car and he raced by. This race to the silver car was a re-match of another race I had won one cold morning in Stuart Lake. We had raced through the water up to my chest and Tony’s neck!   While I had won both races, the truth of the matter is that Tony ­– who is 13 years old – is a much faster runner than I am.  In fact I think he might be one of the fastest 13 year olds in the country.  However, in both races, I made sure that I had distinct advantages. I really had no intention of losing, although in both races it was a real possibility.  More on that later.

But what about you? Are you intent on winning with your store? Do you have a strategy or are you going up against, quicker, faster, better competition and just hoping that you are going to win, without really even a hope?  So often we are going against competition that is so stiff that our goal is just to keep our heads above water and pay the bills. 

Give yourself an advantage

So why don’t we change the game?  When I raced against Tony Kibonge and his class the first time in a lake, I knew I had a clear advantage.  I knew that I weighed 100 lbs more and was a good eight inches taller than Tony and this would help me as I moved against the water in the lake to the finish line. In business, we often think that we have to run the race that our competitor has already established an advantage in.  I knew that if I was to race Tony in the 100, 200 or 400 meters that he so loves to race,  I would be left in the dust. So I don’t race those races.

In the health food business, we too need to change the odds so that they are in our favour. We need to think about what we are better at than our competition, both online and mass.  If our competition has better prices than us, then, we better focus in an area where we can add value and price is less of an issue.  This may be great service or exclusive products.  To distinguish ourselves, we need to really be different and find customers who are willing to pay for that difference.

Setting goals

And what does winning mean? In every race, there is a finish line and a goal that we are striving for. However, most small retail health food stores don’t have real goals. We are just plodding along hoping that our store is going to grow without having any real plans, any targets for sales or marketing, profit, or any other measurable outcome. 

If you would like to double your business in three to five years, you need to grow at 20 per cent a year.  So, how do we do that?

  1. The first step is to establish a goal and to write it down.  Put that goal up on a wall or white board – somewhere you will be reminded of it often and everyone on your team can see it. 

  For example, “Sales Target: by 2020, we will have two million dollars in sales.”  

  1. Pick a Strategy to Achieve Your Goal – It might take time to work this out with your team, but if you want to get people on board, you might want to include them in picking the best strategy. If you have a really small store, it might mean that you need to set time aside to put some thought into how your business will achieve the goal.  What specific customers are you going to go after? Where is the area that you are going to have a distinct advantage over your competition? Do you need to change your pricing model or your marketing strategies?
  1. Lay out some tactics to achieve the strategy. These might be things like: We are going to start putting on more seminars in the store; we are going to focus on brain health this year; I am going to spend 50 per cent of my time each week working on the business and getting more people in the store, and 50 per cent working on the floor. 
  1. Measure your progress.  Once you have started working towards your goals by implementing your strategies and tactics, you need to measure the progress and celebrate the wins. In the retail health business, we need to play to our advantage.  Just as I tried to beat Tony by setting the parameters of a race that I could win, you need to do the same thing with your business.

Focus only on areas where you have an advantage. Know where the finish line is, and celebrate each and every accomplishment. Make your health food store a winner! •

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After thirty years there is a new owner for Garden Health Vitamins

garden healthAfter 30 years as owner, Susan St. James has sold her store, Garden Health Vitamins in Vancouver, to Deanna Henry.  “Deanna has a five year history in the health food industry at Ave Maria in Prince George, B.C. and comes from an entrepreneurial family,” said Susan. “I believe that Deanna is a perfect fit as the new owner of Garden Health and I am pleased that I can leave my legacy to her. My current staff, that have stood by me for several years, will be standing by her as she brings her inspiration to the store that serves this downtown community and beyond. I will be supporting Deanna over the next few months and I hope you will welcome her.” 

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Durham Natural Foods

durham natural foods storeDurham Natural Foods has seen two distinctly different phases in its 39-year history.  It has been a big operation.  And it has been a small operation.

Store owner Gilles Roy and his brother, store manager Ray Roy, agree: they prefer the smaller – and current – size of the business.

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Toronto’s Organic Garage

matt lurie organic garageWhen Matt Lurie said it is hard to describe the Organic Garage in words and that you have to see it to really appreciate it, he was right.

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Gaudaur Natural Foods

gaudaur health food storeJake Gaudaur knows the road workers fairly well: they seem to have been tearing up the road in front of his café for months.  “Any luck?” he asks one of them.   The worker replies, “Not yet.  We’re going to try over there.”   “The sidewalk?” asks Jake. “No…over there,” says the worker, pointing to a spot in the road that is still untouched.

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Over 70 attend inaugural Purity Life beauty summit in Quebec City

purity life beautyIn June of 2017, Purity Life Health Products LP hosted its first beauty summit.  The result was a very positive and educational gathering of some of the company’s most valued business partners, including 38 natural health retailers.  In total, 71 people took part, including staff, vendors and speakers.

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The Decision Matrix

When an organization is going through rapid change, roles within the organization change, too, and not always  in a consciously thought-through manner. Expansions can result in forming new layers of positions.

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Balance for the immune system

moducareA healthy immune system helps to protect you from cold and flu viruses, as well as allergies and even some autoimmune disorders. The blend of plant sterols and sterolins in Moducare are clinically proven to help keep your immune system in balance. For optimal immune health, take Moducare daily. The kids love our great tasting child friendly version!   

Get the full story: www.moducare.com

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POS Systems

acceo pos systemACCEO offers powerful management solutions and POS systems. The ACCEO Smart Vendor team provides complete POS and inventory management systems to specialty retailers, such as health food stores.        acceo.com

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Skin health and rejuvenation

sisu hair skin nailsSisu Skin, Hair & Nails nourishes and helps rejuvenate the body from the inside out. The unique formula combines clinically-validated nutrients including highly-purified Hyabest hyaluronic acid, specially developed to promote skin health and 
rejuvenation and help repair and promote strong hair and nails. 
800/663-4163 or visit sisu.com

 

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Build better blood cells

nu life iron therapyNU LIFE Therapeutics IRON THERAPY is formulated by a naturopathic doctor.  This vegan formula contains two strains of shelf stable probiotics in delayed release capsules, plus all the necessary supportive ingredients to build better blood cells and prevent associated constipation.           www.nulifevitamins.comwww.nulifevitamins.com

 

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Fermented, organic turmeric

prairie naturals tumericWe allow our natural fermentation process the three to six days required to truly achieve the most beneficial transformations. Prairie Naturals fermented Turmeric Powder is naturally cultured with lactobacillus plantarum and saccharomyces boulardii on a molasses matrix. This fermentation provides enhanced bioavailability and optimal digestibility. Our fermented, organic turmeric is packed with antioxidants and phyto-nutrients.          prairienaturals.ca

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Natural nasal spray

xlearThe combination of saline and xylitol makes Xlear Nasal Spray the most effective natural nasal spray on the market.  It moisturizes and soothes the nasal passages, and also washes out harmful irritants and contaminants like dust. Xlear effectively alleviates congestion due to allergies, colds and the flu. Xlear has no rebound effect and is non-addictive and non-medicated.  

Visit Xlear.com

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Urinary support

bladdersenseNEW from WomenSense – two urinary support products for women. CranSense provides 500 mg of concentrated 36:1 cranberry extract in each capsule to help prevent recurrent urinary tract infections (UTIs). BladderSense contains water-soluble pumpkin seed extract in a non-GMO, gluten-free formula that is easy for the body to absorb.   assurednatural.com 

 

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Relief of menopausal symptoms

sisu menoeaseSisu MenoEase with EstroG-100 is a proprietary herbal blend featuring potent, estrogen-supporting phytonutrients specially selected for their fast-acting, effective relief of menopausal symptoms and proven long-term safety. It addresses the full spectrum of pre-, peri-, and postmenopausal symptoms, without estrogenic or other side effects such as an increase in body weight.  

800-663-4163 or visit sisu.com

 

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Gluten free superfood

enerex greensEnerex GREENS are unique, as the young shoots are harvested at the pre-joint stage, therefore are gluten-free and packed with the highest nourishment. They are juiced for a higher nutritional value, superior fresh clean taste and sweetened with monk fruit, not  stevia.   enerex.ca

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What is CASL and why do I need to comply with it

 casl lawa wendy hulton(CASL) came into effect back on July 1, 2014 and while Canada was late to the anti-spam movement, it caught up fast with one of the toughest and widest reaching anti-spam regimes to date.  


 

(CASL) came into effect back on July 1, 2014 and while Canada was late to the anti-spam movement, it caught up fast with one of the toughest and widest reaching anti-spam regimes to date.  

But CASL applies to much more than traditional “spam.”   CASL applies to all your electronic messages (think email, text, SMS, etc.) that you are sending in Canada, if any aspect of the message encourages participation in any kind of commercial activity.  You can stop reading this article now, if you already know that CASL (with a few exceptions) essentially prohibits sending commercial electronic messages (aka CEMs) to anyone in Canada without their consent.

 Under CASL, consent can either be “express” or “implied.”  Express consent is preferable because it remains valid until it is revoked.  In order to obtain express consent, you must clearly disclose: (1) what you are seeking consent to send (promotions, sales, etc.), (2) information identifying the sender, and (3) mention that the party may unsubscribe at any time.

Implied consent, for example, is valid for six  months from the date the recipient sent a request for a quote to the sender, unless withdrawn sooner.  Implied consent also applies if there is an “existing business relationship” between the sender and the recipient, based on the purchase of products or services between the parties within the past two year period preceding the date the CEM was sent.

CASL’s provisions allow CEM type messages to be sent without full CASL compliance in a B2B context such as messages sent within an organization, or by an employee, representative, consultant or franchisee to another employee, representative, consultant or franchisee of that organization, in connection with the activities of that organization or to another organization, if the organizations “have a relationship” and the message concerns the activities of the recipient organization.

Messages sent in the context of a “Family Relationship” or “Personal Relationship,” are also exempt.  In this case, “family” means individuals related by marriage, common-law partnership or a legal parent-child relationship and a personal relationship typically means individuals who have had in-person, voluntary, two-way communications where it would be reasonable to conclude that they have a personal relationship.

CASL also contains provisions that permit one commercial electronic message to be sent following a referral by any individual who has an “existing business” or “non-business relationship,” family or personal relationship with the person who sent the message and that discloses the name of individual that made the referral and the fact that the message is sent as a result of the referral.

So, what happens if you don’t comply with CASL?

You run the risk of potential significant penalties and lawsuits.  CASL provides for either actual damages or statutory damages of $200 for each violation, up to a maximum of C$ one million/day for individuals and C$10 million/day for corporate entities.  In determining the final amount of damages to award, courts analyze the personal/corporate history of the violator(s), the financial benefit obtained and the nature and scope of the violation(s).  Considering that marketing campaigns may involve millions of CEMs, potential damages under CASL may escalate very quickly. A person can seek to avoid liability for a violation by showing that it/he/she exercised due diligence to prevent the commission of the violation, among other common law principles. 

Examples CASL enforcement action over the last couple of years:

  • Compu-Finder

The first notice of a CASL violation involved 3510395 Canada Inc. (doing business as Compu-Finder), which was slapped with an administrative monetary penalty of $1,100,000 for repeatedly sending CEMs without recipients’ consent, as well as sending CEMs without a properly functioning unsubscribe mechanism.

  • PlentyofFish
  • In the second CASL case, PlentyofFish Media Inc. (PoF), the operator of the online dating web site Plenty of Fish, voluntarily entered into an undertaking with the Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in order to settle several alleged violations of CASL.  These included sending CEMs to registered users of its own web site that contained an unsubscribe mechanism that was not set out “clearly and prominently” and was not able to be “readily performed.”  PoF’s penalty was only $48,000.
  • Porter Airlines

In the third public CASL case, Porter also entered into a voluntary undertaking with the CRTC after Porter was found to have sent CEMs to email addresses for which it was not able to provide proof of consent, as well as sending CEMs that did not provide complete contact information required by CASL. Other CEMs sent by Porter either contained no unsubscribe mechanism or one that was not set out “clearly and prominently”, and there was at least one instance where the unsubscribe mechanism was not given effect within 10 business days as required by CASL. Porter’s penalty was $150,000 and Porter was obliged to take corrective measures such as updating its mailing list and ensuring that its CEMs met form requirements, as well as implementing a compliance program.

Rogers Media Inc.

Rogers Media paid $200,000 as part of an undertaking to resolve alleged violations of CASL. The CRTC’s investigation alleged that Rogers Media failed to comply with various CASL requirements between July 2014 and July 2015.  During this period, the company allegedly sent commercial emails containing an unsubscribe mechanism that did not function properly or which could not be readily performed by the recipient.  In addition, in some instances, the electronic address used to unsubscribe was allegedly not valid for the required minimum of 60 days following the sent message.  Rogers Media also allegedly failed to honour, within 10 business days, requests from some recipients to unsubscribe from receiving future commercial emails. 

Why should you be more concerned about CASL after Canada Day?

As of July 1 of this year, Canadians will also be able to launch private and class action lawsuits to collect damages for violations of CASL.  Because the CASL requirements are so broad, so strict and so easily violated, most people expect to see a flood of CASL-specific class action lawsuits.  The private right of action allows parties to sue for actual and statutory damages. Statutory damages could prove to be quite significant.  If your organization has cyber / privacy liability policies, you may want to determine whether they cover third-party claims, class actions and penalties arising out of privacy/CASL violations.   You may also want to check any applicable directors’ and officers’ liability policies, as they may exclude marketing or privacy violations.

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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

July/August Issue

BUY ONE, GET ONE FREE!

It is the once-a-year issue of CNHR where we turn the spotlight on to our industry suppliers. We share your stories of innovation, determination and creativity in bringing your products to market. It is the opportunity for suppliers to show and tell how they support the natural health retailers.

What is the "deal?"

It is our best offer of the year: When you buy a full or half page ad, you get a FREE full or half page to tell your company’s story. In this issue, our editorial is your company story.

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