Planned move a response to members' changing needs
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — GMDC|Retail Tomorrow plans to dissolve as a member-owned nonprofit at the end of the year. The decision, made by the trade group’s board, must still be approved by its members.
“This news is disappointing to many, but we recognize our industry has changed significantly,” GMDC president and CEO Patrick Spear said. “It has been our privilege to serve our members and the industry, and we cherish the relationships we have built and cultivated throughout the last half century.”
The move came after a strategic review by the GMDC board, which determined that “dissolution at year-end is the responsible thing to do in service of the industry, our members, and the GMDC staff.” The board said it made the decision about considering other options, including a merger with another trade association. GMDC retailer/wholesaler members will get a chance to vote on the board-approved decision — voting members have received a memo from the board and a proxy ballot to return to GMDC by November 12.
All GMDC member services will remain available until the end of the year.
“For more than 50 years, national retail association GMDC|Retail Tomorrow has created and fostered connections between the non-foods industry, retailers, manufacturers and the consumer to General Merchandise (GM) and Health, Beauty and Wellness (HBW) category growth opportunities,” the trade group said in a statement. “From pioneering the “speed dating” conference format and introducing Strategic Executive Connection (SEC) trading partner meetings, to launching the GMDC*Connect Video Meeting platform and pivoting to 100% virtual connectivity in 2020 and 2021, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow’s focus has always been on connecting members.
“As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, retailer and wholesaler needs have shifted and the pandemic has significantly impacted business practices and policies. While technology has enabled new ways to connect, the outlook on live and industry conferences in 2022 remains uncertain.
“Following thorough strategic reviews conducted before and during the pandemic, and based on a member vote on a board-approved resolution, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow will dissolve as a member-owned nonprofit, effective December 31, 2021.”
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