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Natural beauty retailers need to be "more slick"

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Sharing his extensive retail knowledge at Natural & Organic Products Europe
 last month, Jeff Martin, operations director at As Nature Intended told
 audience members in the packed out seminar theatre that when it came to
selling natural beauty products, independent retailers needed to be “more
slick”.

With sales of organic health and beauty products reaching £27 million in the
UK in 2008, Martin said that the natural beauty category continues to be a
lucrative sector for the health food industry, but that retailers needed to
work on three key areas: product selection and buying; merchandising; and 
marketing.

Retailers need to identify what type of consumer they’re targeting before 
they can make a successful product selection, said Martin: “Get to know your customer. Understand what it is they¹re looking for, whether they¹re high 
end or mass market, what price point they’re looking at. And are you 
catering for entry-level customers too? Independent retailers need to be 
more slick in their approach.
”

Martin also emphasised the need for a unique selling point, especially in
 the field of organic beauty: “There is still the perceived notion that
 organic equals premium, but don’t underestimate the amount that people will
 spend. What you must have clearly outlined, though, is your own ingredients’
standards, such as whether or not you only stock certified organic products.
 This is an important marketing point for the store.
”

Careful category management, 6-12 monthly product reviews, and building 
strong relationships with suppliers were other points of interest 
highlighted in Martin’s talk, as was the importance of trained staff.

 “Successful retailing is all about staff education, so make sure your staff
 know the products and ranges that you stock. Teach your staff to link-sell,
 and to know the key benefits of each product — it’s the best way of introducing customers to new ranges.”

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