GMDC365 bridges retail buyers and suppliers
SAN ANTONIO — GMDC and The Retail Gateway on Sunday will showcase the latest virtual connectivity innovation — GMDC365 — that will help bridge the gap between retail buyers and suppliers at the GMDC/FMI Health & Wellness @Retail 2013 conference.
The GMDC365 website helps vendors and buyers connect within their specific categories and retail channels.
“The goal of the website was to create a B2B-style site where you can streamline communication and information,” Trey Holder, Retail Gateway president, told DSN in a preview of the new offering. The websites will be able to stream videos, host press releases and even host social media feeds. “It’s a real [efficient] way to keep your sales network up-to-date and also connect with your retail base.”
The supplier page also hosts an overview of the company and contact information, Holder said. “If a retailer looks at a product and wants to see who the manufacturer is, it would take them to that manufacturer’s page,” Holder said. “And they can follow [that supplier] through YouTube, Facebook and Twitter right off of that [landing page].”
The site is actually live now, Holder said, and features upward of 800 products.
The supplier page also features a catalog of all products. “It acts as a cataloguing system,” Holder noted. Each product image can take the retailer to a specific product page featuring how-to videos, detailed product descriptions and merchandising vehicle pictures.
Vendors hosting a page on the website are better able to reach their specific category buyers by toggling which categories their products fall into. Also, vendors can restrict certain channels of retail from accessing their sites.
And suppliers can forward the link to their pages to prospective retail buyers to help promote their products.
The site also restricts access to retailers so that sensitive trade information can be protected, though a suppliers’ sales network can access the site for real-time updates.
While GMDC members enjoy a discount on the program, membership is not mandatory, Holder said. However, all applying to participate, either as a vendor or a retailer, are vetted before gaining access to the site, he said.
Store tour database opens to GMDC members
SAN ANTONIO — In an effort to inform and educate GMDC members on the availability of RetailNet Group’s Global Store Tours database, the RetailNet Group will be among the presenters during Sunday’s business sessions.
Sean Deale, customer development manager at RetailNet Group, and Michael Rogosa, director of client services at RetailNet Group, will present Sunday’s session titled “Learn More about GMDC’s New Virtual Store Tour Program for Members.” Via the new GMDC-RetailNet Group partnership, GMDC members can now access the database, which represents the world’s largest repository of store-level photography. The database is accessible by visiting the GMDC website, logging into the GMDC member area and then clicking to link to RetailNet Group’s Global Store Tours.
Michael Rogosa and Sean Deale of RetailNet Group have partnered with GMDC to allow members access to their virtual store tour database.
“RetailNet Group works to identify the retailers that are growing, the channels that are growing and the countries that are growing, and then we use the store tours to show why. So, you can see some of the promotions that are running; you can see execution and that really gives you the rounded picture,” said Deale, who noted that RetailNet Group will host its Mid-Year Forum in Chicago in June.
The highly indexed, searchable photo library houses more than 1,800 photo galleries comprised of about 180,000 photos. It spans nearly 40 countries and features photos of 97 different departments and product categories.
“It is not a database for products. … It is a 6-ft. [back] view of the shelf, allowing you to see adjacencies, advertising and promotion materials, and store layouts,” Deale said. “We are constantly talking about what the future retail landscape looks like, and in doing that, our database really allows you to sort and search to see change whether that is across retailers, across channels [or] across countries.”
Sean Deale of RetailNet Group shares some of the virtual store tour database’s features.
“You can view photos at a country level; you can view them for a particular retailer, all the way down to the department level. So, if you are interested in seeing health and beauty in the United States and Brazil, you can do that easily through this tool. If you are interested in seeing beauty just in the United States and just at Walgreens, you can do that. There’s a whole level of customization because we tag each of these photos to a market, to a retailer, to the individual banner,” Rogosa added.
The database also features a Brand Support Index, which ranks retailers on their support of national brands within the store.
“[The BSI] is just another way to identify growth and to allocate your resources and your trade spend effectively,” Rogosa said. “… [The database] is constantly evolving because the more photo galleries we get and the more BSI surveys and more analysis we capture, the tool just grows in power.”
GMDC users also will find a section dubbed “In-Store Trends.” This is currently comprised of 13 trends, including digital integration, global-foods merchandising and the drive format/pick-up stations.
“All of the GMDC members, through this single database, have the ability to sort and search by any of these 13 trends. So, you can click on one of them and get an aggregated photo set of the examples of a trend,” Deale said.
Regulations to impact pharmacy
There are several important pieces of legislation that will have an impact on the business of supermarket pharmacy if passed, noted Michael Spira, American Pharmacists Association senior lobbyist, during an FMI education session.
The Senate recently passed legislation on drug compounding, for example. A House version of compounding legislation is expected within the next month, Spira said.
A hydrocodone bill that beefs up requirements and penalties related to dispensing the narcotic pain reliever has been introduced in both the House and Senate. And track-and-trace drafts that would require monitoring pharmaceuticals at the lot and unit levels recently have been introduced in both divisions of Congress, Spira added.