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New NGA Initiatives Offer Industry Insight, Analytics To Independents

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Greg Ferrara

At this writing, the 2022 NGA Show has just come to a close. Another successful gathering has fortified retailers, wholesalers and suppliers with the insights, best practices and forward-thinking guidance they need to thrive in today’s competitive grocery marketplace.

This year’s show, held at the Caesars Forum Convention Center in Las Vegas, was also the first showcase for three new initiatives from NGA and its strategic partners.

Certainly, one of the most important investments a grocery retailer can make is shopper insights – data that helps operators stay at least one step ahead of the market. Large chain retailers have been devoting significant resources to big data, leaving smaller operators at a disadvantage. 

Now there’s a way for independents to flex their collective analytics muscle. NGA and retail software solutions provider BRdata have teamed up to help independent community grocers leverage data analytics to stay abreast of key market trends and drive sales.

NGA Independent Insights powered by BRdata, an independent-centric cloud-based program, allows users to see item and category trends among independents nationwide to better determine what trending items they are not selling or are underselling, along with categories that are underperforming. 

NGA Independent Insights will allow users to drill down to see the top trends in their region and state and compare them among stores of similar sizes and areas (i.e., suburban, small city, urban and rural), as well as predict categories that will be trending in the near future. This solution makes reams of important marketplace data digestible and accessible to grocery operators of any size.

Another thing the past two years has revealed is heightened awareness of food safety and overall enhanced sanitation. To that end, NGA has named Ecolab, the global leader in hygiene, water and infection prevention solutions and services, as its food safety partner. This is part of a new suite of resources available to NGA member companies.

Food safety and enhanced sanitation practices have always been paramount for independent community grocers. The training, guidance and depth of knowledge provided by Ecolab will help members adher to the highest food safety standards and boost confidence and trust among consumers.

NGA members will be able to access online food safety training that reinforces the fundamentals and introduces the latest innovations. In addition, operators will find information about how to register for webinars on food safety regulations and opportunities available through Ecolab, including links to its thought leadership, solutions and services. More information can be found online as it becomes available.

Last but certainly not least, NGA and The Tomorrow Group are working to deliver new, forward-thinking content and experiences to the independent supermarket industry. The focus goes beyond tech to the total store – reimagining layout and design and innovation in retail outside of the supermarket, as well as emerging technology. 

Too often, emerging technologies and opportunities bypass independents, although they may be the ideal partners for swift and sweeping applications of emerging innovations. Opportunities to catch this forward-thinking educational content in upcoming in-person and virtual events will be announced soon. 

Meanwhile, independents can continue their education at NGA’s Engage: Store Operations Summit, April 26-27 in Salt Lake City, and we’ve scheduled the next NGA Show for Feb. 26-28, 2023, at Caesars Forum in Las Vegas.

But while NGA’s annual conference is a natural place to feature our education initiatives, it’s important that the learning continue with year-round guidance on strategies for propelling business to new levels of success.

These initiatives are designed to do just that – be living, evolving resources for insights and growth. Independent grocers shouldn’t get caught standing still and neither should NGA.

For more information, visit nationalgrocers.org.

About the author

Greg Ferrara

President and CEO of NGA

Greg Ferrara is the President and CEO of NGA. The National Grocers Association is the trade association representing the U.S. independent community supermarket industry. NGA members include retail and wholesale grocers located in every congressional district across the country, as well as state grocers’ associations, manufacturers and service suppliers.

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