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GMDC|Retail Tomorrow adopts virtual format for events

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GMDC|Retail Tomorrow adopts virtual format for events

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — GMDC|Retail Tomorrow, an initiative to help retailers, wholesalers, innovators and others uncover dynamic retail opportunities, is adopting a virtual format for two if its upcoming events.

Both events — the General Merchandise Conference (GM20) and Selfcare Summit (SS20) — will take place in October, as originally scheduled.

“While we work through a changing retail landscape, we look forward to exploring new and innovative solutions for our members to network and enable product discovery as we transition to a virtual format this year,” said Patrick Spear, president and chief executive officer of GMDC|Retail Tomorrow. “As an association born out of industry disruption, GMDC|Retail Tomorrow has delivered industry-first opportunities for the past 50 years, from ‘speed-networking’ meetings to a virtual meeting platform for members to Mic-Drop quick pitch presentations. Now is a perfect time to leverage this expertise and scale it for the benefit of our members who are seeking new ways to connect.”

GMDC|Retail Tomorrow has reimagined this year’s events to protect the health and safety of its members and employees during the global coronavirus pandemic.

The organization said that the members-only virtual events are likely to bring together more than 80 retail/wholesale companies and 250 supplier companies from across North America to connect, spark innovation and help retail industry stakeholders satisfy consumers’ health, beauty, wellness, self-care and general-merchandise needs.

GMDC|Retail Tomorrow also said the virtual events will guide members through the new business landscape, inspire new product assortments and merchandising strategies based on post-pandemic shopping trends, and provide resources for navigating effects on the industry as they continue to unfold.

The virtual events will be hosted on the GMDC*Connect video conferencing platform, bringing together the capabilities and member connections that GMDC|Retail Tomorrow has long spearheaded in a way that meets the industry’s needs in 2020, including: networking meetings; live and recorded learning sessions focused on GM, self care and post-pandemic consumer trends; and the Preview Box program that delivers participating suppliers’ products into the hands of retailers and wholesalers prior to the events.

GMDC|Retail Tomorrow’s Strategic Executive Connection (SEC) meetings are scheduled for the week of October 5 for General Merchandise and Selfcare Summit participants, while Buyer’s Choice meetings will occur between October 12 and October 23. Retailers, wholesalers and suppliers will utilize a new self-scheduling tool to arrange meetings, allowing for a customized conference experience. The extended duration of the conference, combined with new virtual capabilities, will enable more meetings and enhance connectivity among retailers and suppliers.

“We know this has been an extraordinarily challenging year, and we are committed to all our members as we operate within the current climate. We recently published an Open Letter to the Industry to extend our support to non-essential suppliers that are getting left behind amid the consumer’s focus on essential products. Now, we enter a new phase to further support the industry by enabling strategic continuity as we reimagine our event program to deliver what the industry needs from us at this time,” Spear said. “We are grateful for the full support of our retail board to reinvent our events both now, and in the future. Retailers and wholesalers like Wegmans, Kroger, Southeastern Grocers, UNFI, C&S Wholesale Grocers, Wakefern and many more, are committed to attend and eager to meet with our supplier members. We welcome you to join us in October as we navigate what is undoubtedly a changed retail landscape.”


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