Retail SLAQ FAQ
- Who should complete the Food Retail SLAQ?
- Can I use the Retail SLAQ for large food stores?
- How should the Retail SLAQ be completed?
- How does the Retail SLAQ compare to the CX3 Retail Food Availability and Marketing Tool?
- What changes were made between the pilot and final versions of the Retail SLAQ?
A SLAQ should be completed for each small food store (<4 registers) where an LHD is engaged in site-level PSE work. A SLAQ is not required for sites where SNAP-Ed work does not involve PSE, or where PSE is not happening at the site level (e.g., working with grocery association or headquarters for chain stores).
LHDs working on a healthy retail project outside of SNAP-Ed or in combination with SNAP-Ed resources (e.g. LHDs with CDC SPAN funding) may also be required to conduct the Retail SLAQ.
Yes! While the pilot version of the Retail SLAQ (FFY 2019-2020) was designed for small food stores (fewer than 4 registers), the Retail SLAQ has been re-configured so that starting in FFY 2021, it can be completed for both small and large stores.
Starting in FFY 2021, the Retail SLAQ will be available as an on-line survey in Survey 123. There are 3 options for completing the Retail SLAQ: 1) complete on paper first and then enter it into the on-line survey; 2) complete it on a mobile device, with or without Internet access, using the Survey 123 app; 3) complete it directly into the online survey, on a mobile device (must have Internet access).
Additional instructions and more information about the Here is a table of pros and cons for each method are included in the Retail SLAQ protocol, available in the SLAQ SharePoint folder.
Many sections of the Retail SLAQ were based on the CX3 Retail Food Availability and Marketing Tool, so if you are familiar with the CX3 instrument, much of the SLAQ will seem familiar to you. Compared to the CX3, the SLAQ includes or expands sections to include more detail on behavioral economics strategies (e.g. point-of-decision signage and product placement); the price data collection only involves prices of products found in the store (no need to gather community comparison data); new sections about made-to-order foods and fountain drinks; and a set of interview questions to better understand the non-observable factors and store practices currently in place that will affect intervention planning.
The biggest difference between the Retail SLAQ and CX3 is not related to question content but has to do with the larger purpose. While the CX3 set of tools were designed to assess community-level factors, the SLAQs are all site-level assessments and should only be used once you have a site recruited and engaged in your SNAP-Ed work – SLAQs do not help determine if you should work in a site. Additionally, SLAQs are completed annually, while the community-level CX3s were completed on a 4 year cycle.
For detail on how questions from the CX3 Retail Food Availability and Marketing tool line up with the Retail SLAQ, take a look at the scoring key, available in the SLAQ SharePoint folder.
From FFY 2019-20, the SLAQ team tested the pilot SLAQ in over 20 stores and solicited feedback from LHDs in order to guide revisions to the SLAQ. Here is a list of the major changes made:
- Reconfigured questions to apply to small or large stores
- Removed questions not needed for state-level analysis or marked these as optional, including removing 4 price data collection questions
- Consolidated questions about signage and promotion so they appear once, instead of repeated in multiple sections
- Recalibrated scoring scales so that there are no more negative values; included point values to appear for each question
- Created a definitions and explanations section: includes definitions of “healthy” and “unhealthy” instead of repeating these throughout; also consolidates information provided in training materials so that everything appears in this new section instead