Retail buyers, stores convene to share new ideas and products

SAN DIEGO —From the Meet the Market program to education sessions to the exhibit floor, the 2010 NACDS Marketplace Conference was described by the association as an “overall success.”

This year’s Marketplace Conference, held at the San Diego Convention Center from June 5 to 8, attracted more than 200 retail companies—representing more than 700 buyers and 145,000 stores—to conduct business with more than 450 manufacturing companies.

Attendees hit the ground running the morning of June 5 with the Meet the Market program, which boasted nearly 8,000 preplanned appointments. More than 300 retail buyers—representing more than 100,000 retail outlets—conducted one-on-one meetings to discuss suppliers’ products and services.

Prior to the opening of the exhibit floor on June 6, representatives from such retailers as Walgreens, Costco and Wegmans shared insights with attendees on what retailers are looking for in a product and a company during the “Meet the Retailer/How to Do Business With…” sessions.

The conference also afforded a platform for attendees to learn about a newly launched research initiative in “The Path to Purchase” business program, held the morning of June 7. The panel, which included Brian Harris, chairman of The Partnering Group, and Catherine Lindner, VP retail marketing for Walgreens, was crafted to explore the next generation of manufacturing, marketing and merchandising, encompassing everything from product development to checkout.

Meanwhile, conference-goers were able to stay updated each day via the new NACDS mobile application. The free app provided detailed conference information, including biographic information on speakers, an interactive map with routing information for booths, an exhibitor directory and a personalized show schedule.

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