The Crosset Company 2017 Annual Produce & Floral Conference featured inspiring speakers, more than 50 top produce and floral suppliers, and record-setting attendance from the retail buying community. Held in the new Handlebar Club at Great American Ball Park on August 16, the show included an educational forum, an opportunity for Crosset vendors to showcase and promote their products, and a dinner cruise on the Ohio River aboard the BB Riverboat Belle of Cincinnati.
Harold Lloyd kicked off the morning with his Top 10 ways to increase retail sales. Back by popular demand, Lloyd, who is the former President & CEO of a 14-unit retail organization, restauranteur, and now speaker and author, challenged the audience to improve the retail produce shopping experience. He shared 10 ways to jump-start the process. Ideas included:
- entice consumers to enter the store by featuring produce both outside the store and in the lobby
- offer free cups of water flavored with fresh fruit slices (self-served from clear urns so that the fruit is visible)
- storytelling and educating
- branding and labelling
- cross-merchandising (swap out space with complementary items from other departments)
- create a kids table featuring smaller produce items
- place hand-held grocery baskets throughout the store
- take the first 10 minutes of every shift to tour the produce department
- introduce the people who work in your stores through signage that features their photo and a short bio
- encourage produce employees to face the forward flow of traffic while stocking tables so they can easily engage with shoppers
How do these ideas increase sales? Lloyd quoted research that found shoppers stay in the store 50% longer if they are eating or drinking; for every additional minute in the store, an additional $2.00 goes in the drawer. The average ring of shoppers who pick up items by hand is $11.00; those who use a basket spend $22.00, and those who use a cart spend an average of $40.00. And shoppers who feel welcome and interact with store personnel spend 18% more than those who do not.
Lloyd went on to share his perspective on a key challenge facing all companies today: retaining good employees. Based on his new book, Employee Retention Rules! 52 Ways to Reduce Employee Turnover, Lloyd reviewed his 10-point check list to assess your employee retention probability, contending that those who score well (8 out of 10 or greater), will never have to hire again.
Attendees then heard from former NFL fullback and Cincinnati Bengal, Elbert L. “Ickey” Woods. His story of the defining moments in his journey as a football player, from high school to college to the NFL, spoke to the importance of work ethic, mentors, and recognizing and leveraging the opportunities you are given. He also shared the heartbreaking loss of his son, Jovante Woods, who suffered a fatal asthma attack at the age of 16. In the face of that loss, Wood established the Jovante Woods Foundation, with the mission to bring asthma awareness to the community, fund asthma research, encourage organ donation, and provide college scholarships.
The morning concluded with a delicious Cincinnati-inspired lunch in the Diamond Club. The buying show then opened, giving attendees the opportunity to see the broad range of products and services provided by Crosset Company and its suppliers, build relationships, and take advantage of special promotions available only at the show. The fun and fellowship onboard the BB Riverboat dinner cruise capped off a great day!
We thank our speakers, sponsors, vendors, retailers, attendees, and staff for another great show. We look forward to seeing everyone again next year!