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Education Sessions For Independents Will Highlight PFMA Conference

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The Pennsylvania Food Merchants Association’s (PFMA) annual conference in May will feature educational tracks designed for independent retailers. Sessions will highlight family business and entrepreneurship, legislation, taxation and technology issues.

PFMA worked with Saint Joseph’s University (SJU) in Philadelphia to develop sessions about family business. Mary Nicoletti, director of The Initiative for Family Business at SJU, will present “How to Resolve Family Conflict Quickly to Inspire Commitment and Greater Productivity.” She will lead a panel discussion on succession planning, which will feature panelists from companies that already have successfully navigated succession with senior generation, next generation and non-family executives. Panelists will include executives from Gerrity’s Supermarkets, McMenamin Family ShopRites and Triangle Refrigeration.

The tax implications of succession planning will be the focus of another session. CPA Howard Dorman of Mazars USA will offer solutions and strategies to assist retailers in the succession planning process.

A legislative track will assist attendees looking to sell beer and wine in their stores. Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf signed Act 39 into law last fall, allowing retailers with a restaurant liquor license the ability to purchase an expanded permit to sell wine. Attorney R.J. O’Hara of Flaherty & O’Hara will take retailers through the process of obtaining a license and an expanded permit in his session. In addition, Katie Pelowski of Fetzer Vineyards will explain how to market wine, identify consumers and look at generational tastes for wine. She also will provide insight into store clustering in today’s wine environment and critical wine pricing.

Matt Solkowski and Jim Millar of the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue will join attendees for another session focusing on taxes. They will answer questions about new taxes on cigarettes and other tobacco products and reimbursements for wine taxes.

PFMA has partnered with SJU for a technology session. “Big Data for the Little Guys: Understanding Data Analytics for Informed Decision Making” will examine the ways shoppers make decisions, risk and price perceptions. The session will include a presentation on research into how consumers and managers see the marketplace and suggest tools for retailers to use to affect consumer perceptions about products.

Christine Cline of Retale, a technology company that develops mobile-first shopping experiences, will explain how retailers can successfully pivot their marketing strategies to capitalize on changing media and consumption needs; and another technology session will focus on e-commerce, as mobile panelists Justin Hadwin of Peapod by Giant, Dave Makar of Rosie and Steve Henig of Wakefern Food Corp. will offer insight on the latest technological innovations impacting the way consumers shop in-store and online.

“Learn, Lead, Evolve is the perfect theme for our conference this year,” said PFMA President and CEO David McCorkle. “Retailers have to stay on top of new trends to be effective leaders and evolve their businesses to stay competitive in the marketplace.”

The conference will be held May 8-9 at the Hershey Lodge in Hershey, Pennsylvania.

About the author

Mike Berger

Mike enjoys touring various supermarkets to check out the latest foods and trends. When he isn’t writing, he takes pleasure in sports, his family and young, energetic grandchild.

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