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Is Wellness Maturing?

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Nothing lasts forever, right? Not even "hot new" trends. That's what former natural food retailer and consultant Jay Jacobowitz is saying, in urging operators to keep a close on on how categories develop and fold out.

jay2.jpgFor example, in a seminar today on store layout, Jacobowitz, now president of this own firm, Retail Insights, Brattleboro, Vt., said that manufacturers understand that "we are entering a mature pahse in our business," and use change to artificially keep things fresh. One look at all the line extensions and spin-offs of core products, and you get an idea of what he's talking about. "We cannot be stupid" in setting our displays, he said.

In one retail-specific example, Jacobowitz talked about Boulder, Colo.-based Sunflower Farmers Market, a chain of 19 stores averaging 28,000 square feet each. The retailer, who presented at Expo East earlier in the day, talked about making the bold decision to redo its vitamin/supplements/HBC section. Initially taking a good-size loss, the retailer's new set-up has comp sales of 19% year-over-year.

"Don't allow yourself to die a death by a thousand cuts," said Jacobowitz. "Fifty percent off, then 75%, then 90%. People didn't want it when it was regular price, or half price. Quickly make the change, take the short-term loss and look ahead." This is what Sunflower did, and it was a successful way to keep health and wellness fresh — and profitable.

Contributors

David Orgel

David Orgel is executive director, content & user engagement, of Supermarket News (SN) and its website, SupermarketNews.com. Orgel delivers his opinions on industry trends through a bi-weekly...

Jon Springer

Jon Springer has been writing about food, food retailers and food retailing for more than 10 years, and is in his second tour of duty with Supermarket News. His prior experience includes covering the...
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