X
GO
NEWS Archives
At the beginning of the year, you must decide where to focus your time and money for the best return. And this year may feel the most challenging yet.  Read more...
In December, we reported excerpts from our conversation with Michael Kanter, co-founder 45 years ago of Cambridge Naturals, in Cambridge, Mass. Michael also was one of the pioneers of the Buy Local movement  Read more...
As a small, independent natural products retailer, there’s a lot you can’t do. You can’t carry the broad assortment of natural and organic perishable foods your competitors do. You can’t offer 2-hour delivery, and you can’t compete on price, to name a few. What you can do?  Read more...
Will a chronic worker shortage in the retail and hospitality trades cause managers to automate these jobs? With the unemployment rate at an 18-year low of 3.8%, these industries would hire more workers, but are having difficulty finding them.  Read more...
Next month, Amazon will reach its first anniversary owning Whole Foods Market. How’s it doing so far? As we expected, Amazon will not spend a lot of time giving us specific results for its Whole Foods unit, which makes up less than 10 percent of Amazon’s total sales.  Read more...
“Dr. Drew” Pinsky, the board-certified internist and celebrity doc, has a new app called “Heal.” You can use it on your computer, tablet or phone to book an appointment with a medical doctor from an independent local practice to come to your home or office within a two-hour window of your choosing between 8am and 8pm, seven days a week, 365 days a year. In other words, house calls.  Read more...
At the recent SENPA/SOHO natural products trade show in Kissimmee, Florida, in December, we had the chance to sit down with Aaron Gottlieb, founder and owner of Native Sun Natural Foods Market, with three stores in Jacksonville, Florida. Here are excerpts from our conversation.  Read more...
The natural products movement pioneer opts for efficiency over authenticity, opening a huge market gap for independent natural products retailers. “Day One” of the Amazon acquisition of Whole Foods Market saw significant—and reportedly permanent—price cuts in Whole Foods’ stores on everyday market basket items. In addition, Amazon made a limited assortment of Whole Foods’ price-cut “365 Everyday Value” private label line available online to its Amazon Fresh and Amazon Pantry customers, generating an estimated $1.6 million in sales in the first month.  Read more...
There’s an old saying, “Youth is wasted on the young.” As an independent natural products retailer, you probably wish you could hire someone who possesses the wisdom that comes with age, but with the back muscles of a high school wrestler. Because retail is a physical sport, you must recruit able-bodied individuals with enough energy to work the long hours, both early and late. This means you won’t be able to fully staff your store using the oldest and wisest candidates, but must select from the younger, more active set, whose personalities, shall we say, are still forming.  Read more...
Watching Wall Street hammer major food-retailing stocks immediately after Amazon’s June announcement to buy Whole Foods Market, I can understand why you—an independent natural products retailer—may have felt a shiver down your spine. Since then, those grocery stocks have recovered most of their losses as investors thought more carefully about the challenges Amazon must meet before—and even if—it is to have any real impact on U.S. food retailing.  Read more...
Does Amazon care what it sells?
Does Whole Foods Markets care what it sells?

The opposing answers to these two questions—“No” and “Yes” respectively—are at the heart of the problem Amazon CEO, Jeff Bezos, now hopes to solve. Put another way, can Bezos make fresh, organic, free-range filet mignon behave like J.R.R. Tolkien’s latest novel, Beren and Lúthien, on an Amazon Prime delivery truck?  Read more...
As of 2017, natural organic products sales grew 3.8% to reach $75.2 billion, or 11.56% of the $650.5 billion in total U.S. food store sales. Supernatural retailers including Whole Foods Market and Sprouts Farmers Market still control the largest market share, at 29.25%, followed by conventional supermarkets such as Kroger, Albertsons/Safeway, Publix and Wegmans, with 18.2%.

Third in line, compact grocers (stores < or = 20,000 sq. ft.) such as Trader Joe’s and Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, registered a 14.71% market share, followed closely by independent natural products retailers and coops at 14.66%. Mass marketers Walmart and Target nosed out club stores such as Costco and Sam’s Club, with a 6.5% market share vs. 6.1%, for the clubs.

For more information, please view the video presentation above, “39th Annual Whole Foods Retailer Survey”, or contact Retail Insights® directly at 1.802.254.8600, or via email, info@retailinsights.com
Here’s a universal: a shopper walks into an independent natural products retail store and asks for health information, which the nutritionist willingly provides in a 20-minute conversation. As the conversation wraps up, said shopper pops open a price-comparison app on his or her smartphone to check prices elsewhere. Here’s how one independent retailer used satire to fight back.  Read more...
Brattleboro, Vermont, February 9, 2016. Costa Mesa, California-based Mother’s Market & Kitchen, founded in 1978, and now with seven supermarket-size locations in Southern California, has been acquired by private equity investment firm, Greenwich, Connecticut-based Mill Road Capital Management LLC (MRC).  Read more...
Brattleboro, Vermont, November 7, 2014. Nature’s Pantry, Inc., an Independence, Missouri, natural foods retailer, has agreed to be acquired by Lakewood, Colorado-based Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Inc. (NYSE: NGVC), which plans to begin operating the store as a Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage store beginning on December 8th, 2014.  Read more...
One of the first moves Whole Foods made under Amazon’s new ownership was to kick all brokers and vendors out of the stores, preventing direct sales contact with store buyers. In the Wall Street Journal, Jay Jacobowitz weighs in on what this means for smaller brands and the consumers that still want them.  Read more...