Those of you who are even marginally committed to mass retailing in America (and elsewhere) would be wise to circle the date of December 13, 2023, on your calendar. On that date, a Thursday in mid-December, several industry icons (including the editors of Chain Drug Review) will gather at the Ziegfeld Theater in New York City to formally recognize the 90th anniversary of the National Association of Chain Drug Stores — and, in the bargain, celebrate those retail companies and staffers who, over the years, have built the mass retailing industry and transformed it into the leading American economic engine it has become.
Against that background, here are the rules of entry:
Any individual toiling for a mass retailer or supplier is invited to attend — upon commitment to purchase an easily affordable ticket. To commit to that ticket, contact either David Pinto at 212-620-4290 or Jim Whitman at 703-608-3935. Either of those estimable individuals will be happy to record your commitment — and take your money.
Now, on to the festivities. Throughout the afternoon and evening of the 13th, the event’s co-chairs will formally recognize and review the careers of those retail leaders who have, over the decades, powered this dynamic industry to the heights it now enjoys. As to who those leaders will be, to find out you will have to appear. But it is safe to say that Sam Walton will be on that list. As will Tom Ryan. As will Larry Merlo. As will Dan Jorndt. As will John Standley. As will … Well, you get the idea.
Suppliers will be called on as well — to introduce the honored retailers, to hand out awards (yes, there will be awards) and to participate in any other appropriate way. At evening’s end, a lavish dinner will enable attendees to cement old relationships and form new ones, to reminisce about old times and set the stage for those occasions we will memorialize at the association’s 100th anniversary — or 150th. Who knows.
Finally, it must be noted that the executives and staff of NACDS have generously agreed to allow some farsighted and visionary industry leaders to steal an evening during the association’s winter meeting to stage the groundbreaking event. Our promise is that you will not be disappointed. Or, if you are, the organizers of this event will almost graciously return some of the money you graciously parted with.
So, come one, come all. It will almost certainly be an afternoon and evening worth remembering. Or, to put it another way, an evening you will have trouble forgetting.
See you then.