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GMDC Wraps Up 2012 Health Beauty Wellness Conference

GMDC HBW conference in San Antonio, Texas

During the 2012 Global Market Development Center (GMDC) Health Beauty Wellness Conference, which wrapped up earlier today in San Antonio, Texas, attendees participated in three business sessions designed to feature in-depth insights, reveal growth content, and consumer trends for the HBW market.

One of the business session was “The Path to Purchase” presented by Mark Valesano and Siena Long, both of who are managing principals at Path-to-Purchase Partners, which focuses on how consumer purchases are being influenced by digital technology and how digital technology is quickly shaping consumer habits.

“It’s not about the store anymore, it’s about getting on the consumer’s shopping list and bridging the perception gap,” Valesano said during the session that took place after the GMDC general lunch session. “The first and second decision factors for making online purchases is discounts and deals. That gap used to be filled by consumers making those decisions inside brick and mortar.”

Another session held at the San Antonio JW Marriot was “Beauty & Personal Care Retailing in the United States: Trends and Opportunities” presented by Nancy Mills, an industry manager for the consumer products practice of Kline & Co.

“Many people are shopping across multiple channels these days—luxury, specialty, direct and mass, for example,” Mills said during her 45-minute session. “Brand and retailer loyalty is scarce, especially among younger consumers. People need to feel a connection to companies they buy from. For the millennial consumers, especially, that is achieved by those companies being very responsive to comments in the social media space.”

Jeff Rehling, principal at Edgewood Consulting Group, provided members with insight into “The Evolving Landscape in Health and Wellness…A Retailer Strategy and Scorecard—How to Win in This Dynamic Space.” Rehling revealed how large the HBW industry would be if it were a company.

“..it would be the third largest company in the world,” he said. “That means Health and Wellness is big, it’s growing, and it’s relevant. For retailers, opportunity lies in understanding that this industry is about balancing both emotional benefits (like living my life, having energy and feeling good) with physical benefits that tend to be driven by specific disease states.”

Included at the end of Rehling’s session was a retailer and supplier representative panel that discussed and verified Rehling’s presentation The panel included Steve Davis of Weis Markets, Greg Douglas of H-E-B, Brad Halverson of Kellogg Co, John Durkin of Boiron Inc. and Lou Donadio of Pfizer Consumer Healthcare.

“The varied passions and many fields of expertise that were represented in these meetings has reinvigorated our company to continue on the trail of simplicity and providing help to our retailers in becoming more effective in navigating the consumer during their shopping trips,” said Mike Stotts, who attended the sessions hosted by GMDC and who serves as VP of sales for Navajo Manufacturing Inc. located in Denver, Colo. Navajo is a supplier in the GM and HBW industry.

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.



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