GMDC to reschedule GM conference

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GM20 will be held Sept. 30 through Oct. 4

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Global Market Development Center|Retail Tomorrow is postponing its General Merchandise Conference until fall.

Originally scheduled for June 4 to 8 at the Omni Orlando Resort at ChampionsGate, the conference will now run concurrently with the trade assocation’s 2020 Selfcare Summit at the Atlanta Marriott Marquis. GMDC expects that travel bans and stay-at-home mandates associated with the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak will no longer be in effect by September.

While the General Merchandise Conference (GM20) and Selfcare Summit (SS20) events will be co-located, registration and programming for each event will be separate. GM20 will take place from September 30 through October 4, while the Selfcare Summit will run from October 1 through October 5.

“The COVID-19 outbreak continues to profoundly disrupt many industries, including retail, travel and hospitality. GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is taking precautionary measures to ensure the safety and well-being of our employees, members and partners,” GMDC|Retail Tomorrow president and CEO Patrick Spear said in a statement. “Postponing our GM20 event and co-locating it with our second annual Selfcare Summit in October will enable our association to support members’ pressing business continuity needs. It will also ensure the timely creation of new best practices in response to the lasting impacts of COVID-19 on the products and services that we represent. Our trading partners will leverage this time together to navigate what will undoubtedly be a changed retail landscape.”

The co-located events are expected to bring together more than 150 retail and 500 supplier executives from across North America to connect, help retail industry stakeholders satisfy consumers’ health, beauty, wellness, selfcare and general merchandise needs, and spark innovation for the marketplace, according to GMDC. New consumer habits and holistic nonfood buying behaviors will be a major focus for all attendees as the retail industry continually shifts between brick-and-mortar and e-commerce.

Founded in 1970 by Fran Willmes of Spartan Stores and purchasing executives from five general merchandise wholesale companies, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow is currently celebrating its 50th anniversary. For the last half-century, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow has been a trusted adviser to some of the world’s largest retailers, equipping them with the resources, data and consumer-focused research and insights that lead to sustainable and profitable growth in the face of industry disruption. An expert in the nonfood general merchandise and health, beauty and wellness arenas, today the association represents more than 125,000 retail outlets worldwide.

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