There are three categories of natural foods stores: mass marketers, natural foods supermarkets in similar formats to conventional grocery stores, and small, independent natural and health foods stores.
If you open your own natural foods store, you will most likely be in that third cat e gory, the small, independent store. The independent store has a strong presence in the natural foods industry. You can expect to make about $3 million annually in sales with about 2,000 to 4,000 square feet of selling space.
A successful store is usually situated in an area where these products are well received, where people in the surrounding neighborhoods appreciate the value of eating natural foods and, at the same time, are helping to preserve the environment.
The success of the independent store is directly related to an emphasis on quality products, good produce, a unique product mix, excellent service, and informative marketing. The atmosphere should be relaxed and friendly, never hurrying the customer.
In recent years, the competition for the food dollar has increased, forcing conventional food stores to re think their pricing and product mix. Discount mass merchandise stores, ware house stores and supercenters have managed to get a larger market share because of their lower prices.