Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012 - (Page 73)

Retail MOLLIE STONE’S MARKETS Naturally Innovative Mollie Stone’s Markets takes credit for the once-controversial idea of combining natural foods with conventional grocery products side-by-side on the same shelves. owadays, just about any grocery store carries natural and organic foods, sometimes in a separate section or aisle. But when Mollie Stone’s Markets – which began selling only natural foods in the San Francisco Bay area in 1986 – first combined the two side-byside, the biggest objections were from the natural vitamin and supplement industries. “A lot of health food companies wouldn’t sell to us,” Co-owner David Bennett reveals. “A few of the natural vitamin companies felt like we would destroy their brand’s reputation because we were moving them out of the local pill shop.” N Bennett says it took a long time for some companies to warm to the approach. The idea of combining natural foods with conventional groceries on the same shelves did not occur to the founders immediately. Their first store was named Mollie Stone’s Natural Farm Market after Bennett’s partner Mike Stone’s deceased mother. It was a 15,000-square-foot natural foods supermarket in Redwood City, Calif., in the San Francisco Bay area. Before the friends decided in 1985 to found Mollie Stone’s Markets, Stone had been hired away from a grocery wholesaler to become general manager of a three-store grocery chain, but Bennett had no grocery David Bennett Mill Valley, Calif. September/October 2012 retail merchandiser 73

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012
Brand Licensing Europe
Showrooming Mushrooming
Pinch the Grinch
Category Insight
Upfront: BJ's Wholesale
Mind Candy
Outfit 7
Halfbrick Studios
Redasign Studio
Sony Pictures Consumer Products
Brentwood Licensing
Andrews McMeel Publishing
Chestnut Petroleum Distributors Inc.
The Hartley Co.
Mollie Stone’s Markets
Regal Oil
80Purple Cow Stores
Ocean State Job Lot
Staples Canada
Brookshire Grocery Co.
Wally’s Food Pride
Jewelry Television
Skin Science Labs Inc.
Great Clips
New & Noteable

Retail Merchandiser - September/October 2012