Merchandisers: the superheroes of cooperative food retailing.
Today is National High Five Day. (Really! We look this stuff up. It’s the third Thursday in April, right after National Lima Bean Respect Day.) In honor of this popular way to exchange pleasantries, we’d like to give a high five to our humble Co-op merchandisers—the unsung heroes of our cooperative who make sure our stores are chock full of lima beans and lots of other good stuff, too.
Here’s a few reaons why merchandisers are freakishly high-five worthy:
Buyers for Our Members
Most grocery stores act as selling agents for food companies. (Meh.) But at the Co-op, our merchandisers act as buying agents for our members. (Woot!) This is a very different way of doing business. The merchandisers’ loyalty is to our member-owners, not to a food company or distributor.
Our merchandisers cover more than 38,000 items, emphasizing fairly traded, local, and organic foods. They review products annually, respond to member product requests, and collaborate with our stores to decide if an item should be added to other stores, kept, deleted, or discontinued. (It happens. Farewell, tofu spinach bean flakes.)
Demos and Events
The Co-op’s samplings, demos, and community events are legendary. We have a Producers Fair in the fall, Taste of Tradition parties during the holidays, and hundreds of other individual demos and samplings throughout the year. All free! With a lot of help from our local producers, store staff, vendors, and volunteers, the merchandisers plan and coordinate our demos and events and make it all happen. (Thanks for all the little cups of free ice cream over the years, merchandisers!)
Sales and Promotions
Love the October Case Lot Sale? The January Citrus Sale? The Member discount days? Do you shop the specials or the Co+op Basics? Like with events, it takes a lot of people to pull all this off, but the merchandisers are the driving force behind our specials and promotions, passing along a lot of savings to our members and shoppers in the process.
Got a question for our merchandising team? Got a product request? Want to give a cyber high five? They’d love to hear from you. Email comment at coopfoodstore dot com.