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General Merchandise Conference Draws Hundreds

Last updated on September 7th, 2012 at 09:57 am

The 2012 Global Market Development Center (GMDC) General Merchandise Conference wrapped up in Orlando, Fla., earlier this week. Marking its 42nd year, the conference drew more than 950 members representing more than 450 companies. In addition, there were 10,000-plus appointments complete. From retailers/wholesalers, to suppliers and service companies, exclusive access to meet with each other was greatly appreciated and accomplished to build valuable opportunities and connections for future business, according to a GMDC news release.

Perhaps the most anticipated enhancement to GMDC’s conference was its launch of GMDC-Connect—a powerful telepresence tool that utilizes high-definition pilots that took place for both the senior executive conference and the controlled causal conference meetings, both on and off site.

“GMDC’s events are always at the top of our list,” said Bill Anderson, group VP of drugstore, beauty, GM, floral and services for H-E-B. “This year’s general merchandise conference was one that I would not have wanted to miss. The innovation and new ways to connect with immediate and qualified business was demonstrated in every meeting my team attended.”

GMDC also hosted a business session followed by a retailer panel and interview discussion regarding new research that GMDC, Nielsen, and Radian released that contained new metrics and insights, helping to measure and manage the GM category. An industry panel was available for questions and discussions after the announcement of the new GM study, and moderated by Todd Hale, SVP of consumer and shopper insights at The Nielsen Co.

“Another good investment, well organized and productive event. The industry insights and information shared is just the beginning of what GMDC, Nielsen, and Radian will be providing in the future. The business sessions about the general merchandise categories will provide a basis to support many of our sales and merchandising initiatives,” said Anthea Jones, SVP of store operations for BI-LO.

At one of the most awaited announcements of the conference, GMDC awarded its 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award to Jerry Brown at the “Dinner with the Chairmen” event. Brown began his business career with Johnson & Johnson Baby Products and retired from Unilever’s as the Industry and Customer Development Team in December 2011. Brown continues to serve on numerous industry committees, including GMDC.

The next GMDC General Merchandise Conference will be held in the fall of 2013 in Phoenix, Ariz.

GMDC is the premier global trade association dedicated to serving general merchandise and health beauty wellness retailers, wholesalers and suppliers. GMDC promotes critical connectivity to grow and expand member companies by uniting members through business building events and opportunities and enriching their thinking through education and training; consumer and business insights; and information resources.

In the featured photo at top: Jerry Brown, left, received the GMDC 2012 Lifetime Achievement Award.




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