“Engaging authentically with customers – that’s our big opportunity”


“Engaging authentically with our customers – that’s our big opportunity as independent retailers.” So says Food For Thought owner Alan Martin in a new video interview for Natural Products News.

Talking with the magazine after the first NPN Food Roundtable, Martin said: “We’re always hearing that 80% of people walk straight past a health food store. We thought long and hard about how we could get the 80% to come through the door and realized we needed to become a community store.”

He added: “You have to have something for all parts of the community. And if you’re going to be part of a community store you have to know who your community is. You have to understand the issues and be able to answer the question ‘how can I represent and serve that part of the community’. That’s what we’re trying to really home in on at Food For Thought, and I think that’s the real opportunity. I’d hazard a guess that most independent stores don’t really know their community.”

Commenting on Brexit, Martin said that “if they (UK law-makers ) are smart, they’ll simply bring all the existing EU legislation into the UK. We don’t have to re-write everything. And I think anyone who thinks British regulators will reverse things like the Herbals Directive – well, it’s just never going to happen. I’d personally like to see all EU regulation brought into UK law, otherwise we’ll never be able to trade with Europe anyway.”