Retail Training Collection

The Retail Collection includes resources developed or used by the Independent Grocers Task Force to complement its statewide in-store retail trainings, including the Take 5 video series and the Small Bites newsletter archive along with written resources designed to help retailers more effectively source and merchandise local food. Video episode topics include promotions, purchasing, merchandising, in-store displays, signage, sampling, and procurement. The written resources cover purchasing, merchandising, operations, financials, and staffing. Farmers and specialty food producers interested in learning more about best practices in retail merchandising may also find value in the video series.

Resources in this collection

Financial Resources & Tips

Shrink: the loss of product due to theft, fraud, error, and faulty processes; it is also expressed as “the difference between the retail value of product received versus the amount...
Use this exercise to increase financial aptitude and better understand the way these categories relate to each other. Enter your answers in the grey cells (if you are working digitally...

Local Purchasing Resources & Tips

Tip sheet for building and maintaining efficient relationships with local vendors.
Tip sheet for working with local vendors
Tip sheet for purchasing direct from local vendors.

Merchandising Resources & Tips

10 questions to ask to strengthen produce merchandising.
Tips and strategies for successfully cross merchandising to boost sales and profits.
A worksheet to assess store merchandising.
Key tips to improving store merchandising.
Tips and strategies for creating and managing a successful sampling program.
End caps & impulse displays are used to promote new products, feature Vermont, seasonal and popular items while providing customers with value propositions.
Strategies covering the 5 Ps of Marketing: Product, Placement, Pricing, Promotion, and People.

Operations Resources & Tips

An evaluation of customer service
An evaluation of the meat department within an organization.
A worksheet for self-evaluating your receiving operations.
A self assessment tool for whole-store or department evaluation modified from Rural Grocery Initiative in Kansas.
Price is only one factor in the how-to-buy equation. The most disciplined retailers track not just price but also product quality, timeliness of delivery, and the delivery accuracy of every...
Tips for handling and storing 22 different types of produce.
Receiving is critical for managing quality control and product shrink!

Retail Research and Reports

Exploring the Next Frontier: Increasing Local Food Sales at Vermont's Independent Retailers is a report published by Farm to Plate's Supply and Demand Task Force in order to help grow...

Small Bites

View the Small Bites newsletter archive of past issues.
Sign up to receive the Small Bites newsletter in your inbox!

Staffing Resources & Tips

A daily huddle provides a way to solve minor issues quickly, keeps line staff informed of operational details, allows for staff participation in problem solving, and increases personal accountability.
Assessments of employee evaluations
“Business, like life, is all about how you make people feel. It’s that simple, and it’s that hard.” - Danny Meyer
An evaluation of interpersonal communication.

Take 5 Training Videos

Tips and strategies for running an effective sampling program.
A greatest hits showcase of creative merchandising in Vermont stores of all sizes.
An introduction to the local food landscape in Vermont.
A look at how to build effective relationships with local producers and the local gateway products that can help jump-start your local purchasing and sales.
Tips that cover guidance on ordering, delivery, invoicing and billing, crediting, and additional requirements and policies when sourcing from local producers.
This episode covers the 5 key questions to ask when buying a product for your store: (1) Should I buy it? (2) Who should I buy from? (3) What should...
This episode covers the 5 keys questions to ask after you've brought in new product to your store: (1) Have sales dropped? (2) Should the price be changed? (3) Change...
Display tips for all stores that covers basic display concepts and provides inspiration to unleash staff creativity.
More display tips for all stores that covers basic display concepts and provides inspiration to unleash staff creativity.
Tips for how to improve sales through improved merchandising.
Tips and strategies for stimulating consumer demand through in-store promotions.
A series of 12 training videos. Each is about 5-7 minutes long.
Tips and strategies for effectively using signage to increase sales.