It would be too easy for NGA to spend the year of its 40th anniversary just looking back on its history. Sure, it’s important to remember where we’ve been, but history is meaningless without a future.
That’s why NGA is pursuing key strategic initiatives in 2022 designed to give independent community grocers a competitive edge and prepare members for whatever the future holds. And if the past two years are any indication, we must be prepared for some interesting times.
One such initiative is NGA’s rebranded Engage series of events, aiming to provide insights on the business from top to bottom.
The first event under this new umbrella will be a Store Operations Summit. Scheduled for April 26-27 in Salt Lake City, this summit is designed for store leaders and owners who are focused on store operations and merchandising and have core responsibilities aimed at growing the bottom line for the business.
Led by Harold Lloyd, Engage: Store Operations Summit will deliver a map of tactical steps to address the operational demands of food retail’s changing landscape. The idea is to equip every attendee with a tool chest of ideas on how to stay relevant in their marketplace.
Harold knows of what he speaks. A frequent presenter at the NGA Show and other industry conferences over the years, he was the president and CEO of a 14-unit retail organization for 10 years, operating supermarkets, convenience stores and other retail units. His team of 1,000 associates dedicated themselves to innovation and superior customer relations.
Harold has led other operations-focused events for NGA, in-person and virtual, over the past year. And at every one, he champions NGA’s support of “Supermarket Superheroes.” Taking it a step further, from an operator’s standpoint, Harold refers to the department manager as “the superheroes’ superhero.”
As he explained in an NGA blog a while back: “They must deal with all the challenges that managing people brings to the table, as well as managing the attitudes of the myriad customer types that enter our stores each day.”
It’s these daily challenges that independent community grocers face that make it important for the industry to continually challenge itself to do better. Standing still is not an option for retailers, especially in a marketplace that’s more fragmented and more competitive and seemingly growing more so every day.
Programs such as the education sessions at the recent NGA Show, as well as the Engage series are designed to keep independents thinking, moving and innovating for the future.
The retail marketplace is evolving at a pace that we have not seen. It’s more than just technology and e-commerce. It’s omnichannel: the total store, convenience, unique product offerings and customer experience.
NGA’s ongoing mission is to support the $253 billion local independent supermarket industry with knowledge, insights and hands-on experiences that enable operators to make smart investments and continue to win in the marketplace.
And the goal at NGA is to always be forward-thinking, looking ahead for new and innovative ways to keep independent grocers at the heart of the community.