External Articles

Training for soft skills

Yes, you can teach empathy, rapport and authenticity to your staff. Even those who join your staff with a high degree of these “soft skills” can still improve them through training. Brittany Baird is my colleague at CDS Consulting Co-op whose area of expertise lies in linking financial success to [...]

Creating a Cooperative Economy

In stock-owned businesses, such as those you find on Wall Street, owners can live anywhere. They never have to use the goods or the services that the company offers. For instance, you can own stock in McDonald’s and never eat there, or own shares in Walmart and never shop there. [...]

Why Do Marketing and Operations Clash?

Back when I worked in distribution, the warehousers complained that marketing promised too much to the customer, while marketing grumbled that the warehouse always said no. It’s the same in retail. When conducting employee surveys I often hear comments from grocery or wellness like, “Marketing is trying to run everything [...]

Safety Training That Works

An Interview with Paul Feiner As a Loss Prevention Certified (LPC) professional, Paul Feiner works full time as Store Support Manager at Sacramento Natural Foods in Sacramento, CA.  On the side, he and his brother Michael manage a consulting business that helps small businesses develop proactive loss prevention programs to [...]

Pointers for a successful job fair

If you are planning an expansion of your location or service offerings, or just need a fresh influx of applicants, a job fair is a proven way to get a lot of applicants processed quickly. If you’re willing to give this recruitment effort a try, here are a few tips [...]

Creating accountability

A manager of an independent natural food store, when her store was smaller, met individually with her department managers every week to talk about how things were going in the department. If this GM noted any performance issues in the department, she would bring them up in this meeting. She [...]

Setting a course for the next 40 years

Sebeslav took ownership of The Peanut Mill Natural Foods Market from his mother Antje Wirth in 2009, things were already in good shape.   Established in 1976 by Antje, the St. Catharines, ON store was one of the longest serving and most successful in the Niagara region. When Jason Sebeslav took [...]

Maintaining your store’s cultural identity while managing change

“Where’s the store I use to love?” How many retailers hear that now? The landscape is dramatically different than it was a decade ago. We now compete with countless natural foods and conventional stores who are luring our customers away. We work hard to adapt to market forces and create [...]

How are you communicating your pricing strategy to your staff?

Is your staff ready for your new competitor? Employees can be the most effective resource in surviving in the new landscape, so help them feel ready! Your overall pricing strategy will include several key components. Some of that planning work may have been done by specific teams or people, but [...]