It All Starts Now

Feb 15, 2019

One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to travel all around the US--and the world--seeing great independent retailers. And no matter where I am--in rural markets or urban, international or domestic, I continue to be so impressed by the amazing things we do to support our marketplace, serve shoppers, and improve our communities. The city names change, the size and shape of our stores change, but the challenges are often remarkably similar. How do we compete against large national chains? How can we attract and keep talent in our store? How do we evolve our marketing and embrace digital? And how should we change our stores to keep pace with what shoppers want.

The good news is that the answers to these questions are in our stores, seen through the many different and powerful ways we have figured out to be better retailers, merchants, and marketers. The "I" in IGA could stand for innovation. But I I've come to realize that very few people in our industry get to see as many stores as I do. Which means retailers get trapped in their local markets, fighting the good fight but not leveraging what is working for other retailers in other markets who face the same challenges.

That is why I created the CEO innovation award--to find, expose, and document the innovate things we do individually to grow sales, reduce cost, and increase traffic. And its why IGA is putting more and more emphasis on finding and documenting what works.

At the Rally we’re going to discuss how the ideas introduced at last year’s Rally—like the National Digital Ad, Local Equals Fresh brand position, and IGA’s celebrated best practices—are working to build your brand and your business.  Of course, more important than where we’ve been is where we’re going, so we’ll also show how those programs will evolve to be even better in 2019.

On top of that, we’re going to talk about how we’ve updated some tried and true IGA programs—like the Assessment and Way to Care—to create strategic tools that work together to help you know and serve your shoppers better.

Finally, for the big hurrah we’ll unveil some highly anticipated resources essential to our progress, including a new Local Equals Fresh brand merchandising kit; a revitalized Exclusive Brand line; and a new Brand Toolkit that summarizes everything IGA has to help you win at retail.

It’s going to be a great Rally—filled with the ideas, tactics, and resources you need—and we’re glad to see that over 400 of you will be there to join us.  If you can’t make it, don’t worry. Over the next few weeks we’ll be updating you on everything coming your way in 2019. Just keep reading The IGA Minute and www.iga.com for the most current information available, and keep an eye out for your copy of the IGA Brand Toolkit, coming your way in March.

If we leverage the best-in-class thinking in our chain at individual stores across the whole chain, nothing can stop IGA!

John Ross

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