California’s Independent Grocers Gain Competitive Skills at Conference

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Sacramento, California Â? California Independent food retailers gathered January 15 - 22 at the Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii, for the 24th Annual Educational Conference hosted by the California Independent Grocers Association.

California Independent food retailers gathered January 15 - 22 at the Princeville Resort in Kauai, Hawaii, for the 24th Annual Educational Conference hosted by the California Independent Grocers Association and sponsored by: Acosta Sales & Marketing, Pleasanton; C & W Frozen Foods, San Francisco; C & S Wholesale Grocers, West Sacramento; Chassman, Yang & Seelig, LLP, Los Angeles; Classic Wines, Stockton; Clover-Stornetta Farms, Petaluma; Columbus Salame, Hayward; Moresco Packaging, Santa Rosa; and Unified Western Grocers, Livermore. This year’s conference was designed to help independent grocery store owners prepare for growing competition in their local markets. Delegates attended the conference representing grocery businesses throughout the state.

Sharon Paxton, Executive Director of the California Independent Grocers Association, says this year’s educational conference speakers were specifically chosen to inspire a competitive edge among independent grocers. She states, “As California’s small cities continue to grow, the competition between large superstores and smaller, independent grocers also continues to rise. For California’s independent grocers to remain competitive in a business where money and power can often buy market share, they must learn to maximize their profit potential while they continuously perfect the service and value they provide.”

The seminar, The Game of Work, lead by Fortune 500 Client Consultant Charles A. Coonradt, was particularly beneficial to attendees. Mr. Coonradt taught grocers his simple “tricks of the trade” for adding one more nickel to the net profit on each customer visit without impacting the price customers pay. Internationally recognized in the field of goal setting and profit improvement, Mr. Coonradt authored the books The Game of Work, Managing The Obvious, The Four Laws of Debt Free prosperity, and Scorekeeping for Success. Food-industry clients represented by Mr. Coonradt include Pepsi Cola, Fleming Companies, Inc., Wendy’s, Quaker Oats, Ralston-Purina, Coca-Cola, and Associated Food Store.

Successful Business Entrepreneur Bob Garner demonstrated his skills as a showman to gain audience interest during his presentation to the grocers. Mr. Garner used magic, mind reading, and humor as he shared his insider knowledge of the real goals, challenges, and obstacles business owners face every day. His stories of successes and failures motivated listeners to take active steps towards setting and reaching their goals for the future. Mr. Garner is known as an expert in the topics of sales, communication, and motivation, and has appeared on many radio and television talk shows.        

Author Jackie Pflug used an inspiring story of human determination to demonstrate the importance of perseverance in business and life. Facing incredible odds, Ms. Pflug survived an Egyptian airplane hijacking which left 59 people dead. Shot point blank, thrown from the plane, and left to die, Ms. Pflug found the determination and faith she needed to survive, and now advocates the human potential to overcome obstacles and create meaningful lives. She is the author of Miles to Go Before I sleep which recounts her hijacking story.

Headquartered in Sacramento, California, CIGA has continued to represent the Independent Retail Food Industry since 1905. Today, more than 1,200 independent grocers and supplier companies make up its membership. CIGA's vision is to be the best possible association by promoting, supporting, educating, protecting and fulfilling the needs of the independent grocer.

For more information, call Sharon Paxton at (916) 929-9741.

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