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GMDC Celebration Of Its 45th Gets Under Way

45 Year GMDC Ribbon

Last updated on June 14th, 2024 at 10:10 am

Aug. 1 marked the official 45th anniversary of the Global Market Development Center (GMDC).

The official celebration will take place at GMDC’s 2015 Health Beauty Wellness Conference taking place Oct. 1-5 in Phoenix, Arizona.

As part of the runup to the celebration, GMDC shared some information from “The Evolution of Retail: Reinventing the Customer Experience,” which was released by audit, advisory and tax firm KPMG.

Industry changes during the last half-century mirrored milestones of change inside GMDC during national and global demographics, economics and technology shifts.

1970s: Stores begin using barcodes as chain stores dominate the marketplace. The association that would become GMDC is established as a connective trade association, hosting its first marketing conference for members such as Carlie C’s (IGA) and Merchants Distributors Inc. The association introduces corporate “speed dating” at conferences to maximize member connections.

1980s: Big-box and discount retailers including Walmart and Costco reface the customer experience with stores that cross categories. Ahold USA joins GMDC as the association admits direct-buying supermarket chains to membership.

1990s: The marketplace goes digital with the launch of Amazon.com. GMDC opens membership to service merchandisers, non-direct-buying supermarket chains and club stores and later admits all mass market wholesale and retail channels to membership.

2000s: Computer and technology stores plug into the market and Toys R Us unveils its store-in-store concept. The association rebrands itself as the Global Market Development Center, while the Health and Beauty Care Marketing Conference is rebranded to the Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference to capture the emerging health and wellness consumer opportunity.

2010s: Smartphones and tablets mobilize the marketplace, equipping retailers, wholesalers and service companies by expediting commerce processes. Brick-and-mortar stores incorporate mobile technologies with apps offering digital coupons, digital wallets and in-store mobile push marketing. GMDC digitizes many facets of member communication and introduces GMDC*Connect, a virtual meeting tool offering live and recorded knowledge-sharing infocasts, and launches a mobile app for its conferences. The association also releases the GMDC/Nielsen GM Hierarchy, a tool for tracking critical sales information by category within general merchandise.

2020s: Industry research predicts physical store sizes will shrink as up to 20 percent of retail purchases shift online. The growth of shoppers managing their own healthcare will increase demand for space in over-the-counter, health and wellness and healthy food options. GMDC continues to be an industry trendsetter, offering innovative tools and actionable insights to its growing membership and helping to maintain leadership positions across respective businesses.

“We are proud to celebrate our 45th anniversary as a testament to past successes as well as a launchpad for future strategies which will continue to reimagine and revolutionize the retail industry,” said Patrick Spear, president and CEO of GMDC. “Early on, GMDC emerged as the go-to association for all stakeholders who not only wanted to navigate the industry, but also set innovative trends. We continue to grow and transform through the dedication of our membership and their visionary leaders in the retail, wholesale, supplier and service/solution company landscape.”

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.

About the author

Shelby Team

The Shelby Report delivers complete grocery news and supermarket insights nationwide through the distribution of five monthly regional print and digital editions. Serving the retail food trade since 1967, The Shelby Report is “Region Wise. Nationwide.”

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