Do you need a customer’s perspective, marketing and merchandising strategies, help with customer service? Subscribe your agricultural business to "Under the Ground" to better understand and enhance how you appear in the eyes of the customer.

"Under the Ground" is an annual subscription-based service and network through Penn State Extension that provides businesses with a comprehensive picture of their retail storefront from the eyes of peers and marketing specialists. This program is open to all small agricultural businesses that have a retail space.

Become part of the peer network that through direct observation as a secret shopper, participants will get to the root of how different agricultural retail spaces are designed to enhance the customer experience. Each business involved will receive quarterly reports detailing out feedback from both fellow business owners and industry specialist. You will be provided with quarterly reports that will assess your displays, signage, customer service, etc.; all the components that keep your customers coming back to your store. In addition to observing other retail spaces and receiving quarterly feedback you will build a solid peer network that connects regularly through a closed social media group, networking events, and tours. Exclusive discounted tickets will be available for special events curated around enhancing retail effectiveness.

2019/2020 is the year for the test pilot. The focused area will be available to the following 19 counties in the southeast/south central quadrant of Pennsylvania: Adams, Berks, Bucks, Carbon, Chester, Cumberland, Dauphin, Delaware, Franklin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Lehigh, Monroe, Montgomery, Northhampton, Perry, Philadelphia, Schuylkill, York.

Types of businesses: winery, on-farm markets, coffee roaster, craft cidery, bakery, craft brewery, distillery, miller, creamery, garden centers, butchers/meat markets, specialty oils, craft candy, homemade soaps, florist, apiarist, maple syrup producer, herb producer, wool/yarn, and canned goods.

The program subscription will be from May 1, 2019 to April 30, 2020.

Please contact Tanya Lamo by email at tel20@psu.edu or by phone 717-334-6271 with any questions.

Register by April 15 for an early bird discount at https://extension.psu.edu/under-the-ground.

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