By: PEDRO PENTON TODAY’S GROCER Publisher President, Técnica Business Systems
The National Supermarket Association (NSA) proudly encourages on behalf of the Retail Food Industry, independent operators to join in representing a group that will cooperatively have an influence in an industry that generates close to $1 Trillion in revenues with over 50,000 retail food stores.
The NSA wants to enhance your customers shopping experience. ‘Where Shopping is a Pleasure’ can be a difficult act to follow now days if you are not structured properly. Many independents are content with having a business that meets its level of equilibrium, but will that foster longevity? The NSA underline reason for existence is to develop guidelines creating social and political cycles that collectively builds acceptable, attractive, well run retail concepts that can as an independent organization be on a level playing field with the “big boys”.
The NSA with over 500 members has established a very exciting and multicultural foundation with the community of independent food retailers. Carlos Hernandez, NSA Florida Chapter Vice President tells me, “A bright future lies ahead for our organization; while we seek the membership of single-family owned businesses with 1 to 3 stores we welcome those that have grown to become multi-store chain operators and the participation of related retail service companies, food brokers and wholesalers.” The diversity of the NSA and the ideas the members bring to the organization are an essential part of its success as a food industry participant. The NSA stands to gain by having its members agreeably combine the values and the unique ability and talents each individual has to offer.
With over $2 million in scholarships donated to high schools, the social and economic impact of an organization stands to gain traction in a very competitive market sector by combining business intelligence and influencing local communities.
Large vendors such as Procter and Gamble cannot rationalize the idea of having the resources to think about the results of a single or even a 3 store operator. More often than not the vendors will refer the independent operators to brokers and wholesalers that can provide the services needed. Subsequently these relationships have not been capitalize because the programs that generate allowances and other revenue residuals essential to the retail operators costs of doing business are not realized making the profit margin more important and the competitive challenges that much more significant.
“Most of our member stores buy goods from a major wholesaler, however 70% is purchased from Direct Store Vendors (DSD) and Brokers. We need to have the very same leverage of a large chain by the representation of a single front that as a group performs the same or better than the multi-store operators and gets the very same benefits”, Hernandez said.
To buy into the idea that the NSA is an accepted force that is recognized within the retail community, the major vendors in the food industry need to see consistent volume commitment(s) and results. Retailers can rise above their competitors by focusing on running their business, knowing that they have business associates that can help them refine their respective strategy and with one voice leverage their strength to obtain the very same benefits and rewards as part of an organization; the retailer will have better buying power and yet maintain his/her independence.
The independent retailer’s business model is the fundamental step in thinking about the capability of its store. If you are satisfied with just being viable, then you can obviously stop there. Consequently, as you begin to consider achieving a superior level of results in profit, then you need a strategy that will take you to the next level. The ability to enhance your existing business must include a plan and a resourceful channel that allows you to expand your boundaries and disrupts the docile way you might be doing business; it is important to consider the danger of discontinuities that places you in a flock of retailers that gather to celebrate being content. It is important to enter the arena of players that have compelling ideas that places you on a path of perpetual and relentless change that keeps you from getting consumed by those that are already departed from having the desire to change. The organizations that not only have a thirst for achieving superiority in a market that is on an orbit of constant adjustments, but also seeks to create a status that only a few can achieve, may give you the power to make confident business decisions that follows you everywhere.
The tactical approach of having competitive advantage is to be brave enough to choose a path that is different from that of others and yet have the very same fundamentals – is not about beating your rivals it should be about earning profits. If you have a panel of individuals that will indulge you with an opportunity to have favorable terms with suppliers and allow you to operate at a lower cost and command a premium price then you will be part of an ambitious group of independent operators that want to be successful.
How do you stack up? In a world full of talent, superior performance is the advantage. The NSA – as it unfolds its young group of very talented independent operators in its 4th year of operation in Florida – has been using its experience for more than 25 years in the northeast to assemble an organization that is structure properly enabling independent operators to be part of a team that is yearning to stay ahead of the curve.
At the end of the day, there are few businesses quite like your own business particularly, the way you want to run it. Even if you carry the very same products and services you should not have to be like anyone else. You, as an independent operator, are responsible for delivering and executing on your own vision, the leadership and have concrete strategies that deliver growth, build traffic that yield sales and profitability. NSA’s success is based on projecting strong, different products and services, a voice that breaks through to create awareness and affinity that contributes to more clients and more traffic for the member stores that are willing to step outside the ring so that they can fight effectively when they have to go back for another round.
The NSA is concerned about you, the business owner, by developing strategies around engagement, retention and loyalty that are vital to the success of those that are interested in being in the lead group with a successful platform that makes your operation that much more compelling.
The NSA creates an inspiring atmosphere of successful independent business owners. The NSA is looking for a few good members – Is your store ready to be NSA certified?