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GMDC partners with IHA on fall meetings

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ROSEMONT, Ill. — After a successful collaboration this past spring, Global Market Development Center (GMDC)|Retail Tomorrow is again partnering with the International Housewares Association (IHA) to facilitate a three-week series of virtual events for retail and wholesale companies and their supplier and service partners.

GMDC-RetailTomorrowGMDC|Retail Tomorrow’s 2021 Fall Strategic Meetings will take place from September 28 through October 15 and will focus on the self-care, general merchandise (GM) and housewares categories. Event attendees, including both GMDC|Retail Tomorrow and IHA members, will have the opportunity to collaborate with members from each association and discuss the industry’s most pressing issues within these categories as they relate to merchandising, marketing, e-commerce, consumer and shopper insights, omnichannel agility, sales trends and strategies.

“Through more frequent, category-specific events this year, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow continues to identify opportunities for more meaningful connections among existing industry partners and the discovery of new and unexpected partnerships,” Patrick Spear, the trade group’s president and CEO. “We have seen the self-care, general merchandise and housewares landscape evolve at a rapid pace throughout the past year, and as this trajectory continues, this event series is an opportunity to address these changes and prepare for more as we approach the latter half of 2021.”

The timing of the event series offers retail partners the opportunity to build on their current plans and make thoughtful adjustments for 2022. The goal is to reimagine the way in which retail trade members conduct and grow their businesses beyond the pandemic, and innovate for the future, according to the associations.

The fall meetings will be organized by categories:

  • September 28 – October 1: Session 1 – Selfcare Categories
  • October 5 – 8: Session 2 – GM Categories
  • October 12 – 15: Session 3 – Housewares Categories

“IHA’s mission is to bring buyers and sellers together regardless of format, and we are excited to work again with GMDC|Retail Tomorrow to connect our supplier members with their buyer members during this virtual event,” said Derek Miller, IHA president. “Non-foods is an important and profitable category for grocery retailers, and until the industry gathers again in-person next March at The Inspired Home Show, this type of opportunity delivers the kind of new product and supplier discovery that retailers are craving.”

Designed much like the successful joint spring event with IHA, the agenda provides attendees the opportunity to schedule strategic meetings of their choice with the opportunity to take part in 45-minute meetings via the GMDC*Connect video conferencing platform (powered by Zoom), scheduled at the top of every hour from 10 a.m.-5:45 p.m. ET. The meetings will be mutually matched, with GMDC|Retail Tomorrow building all meeting schedules to accommodate participants’ schedules and availability.

Buyers will indicate their interest in meeting with specific sellers by way of a ranking system to express high interest/some interest/low interest/no interest, while sellers will indicate their interest in any meetings with buyers with a yes/no qualification. Participating companies are not limited in the number of colleagues they’re able to bring to each meeting.

There is no registration fee for the event. Participating suppliers will be invoiced for each meeting scheduled and accepted during the event, but will also have the opportunity to register for all virtual events and meetings that will take place during the three-week period.

“As doors begin to reopen and our business climate evolves, we wanted to continue to create a seamless and accessible event for all, one that provides convenience and collaboration,” added Spear. “Our spring event with IHA delivered a new kind of product and supplier discovery, and at the fall event, we look forward to ushering our attendees into a new era of retail with fresh perspectives on how to do business.”

The event registration deadline for the self care and GM categories is August 6, and the deadline for housewares categories is August 20. For more information and to register for the GMDC|Retail Tomorrow and IHA’s Fall Strategic Meetings, please visit:


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