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February 5, 2016

A combination of factors have revived interest in cooking and made the kitchen once again a major center of activity in the home. As a result, perhaps more than ever kitchenware is emerging as a natural complement to food purchases and is one of the most important purchases according to shoppers when making decisions about their health and wellness.

January 13, 2016

Actionable insights within this study will highlight evolving opportunities in one of the most important and promising categories for food and drug retailers: BABY CARE.

Read "Why Baby Products Matter to Retailers" to learn more about how to:

  • Consolidate your baby businesses and make them a destination department. Leverage shopper loyalty data to understand Mom better.
  • Take advantage of digital and mobile communications technology to engage this customer.
  • Offer natural/organic options, which are proving to have strong appeal to the Millennial shopper.
  • Involve your employees. Many of them are parents, and their first-hand experience and insights can help you differentiate your offering and increase shopper engagement.
September 29, 2015

Whether searching for the perfect frizz taming spray or for the longest-lasting deodorant, women and men, young and old are shopping the beauty aisle. And it’s about time the industry paid more attention. In fact, 99% of all U.S. households purchase beauty products, spending an average of $257 annually. Today, total U.S. beauty sales are estimated at $47.9 billion. Beauty is one of those categories that touches every American household, every ethnicity, every demographic, every culture, every day.

Click the "Read Executive Summary" link below to download the FULL white paper,
you DO NOT need to login to your myGMDC account.


July 1, 2015

On Friday, May 29th, 2015, Dan O’Connor, President & CEO of RetailNet Group, was the keynote speaker at the 2015 General Merchandise Conference. Dan highlighted key drivers of change for Retailers, opportunities and challenges they are facing, and what the retail environment will look like by 2020.

The full white paper is available by clicking on "Read Executive Summary".

May 19, 2015

The answer is simple: opportunity. True, pet is already the top-selling general merchandise category in grocery, with annual sales of $6.64 billion. In drug, understandably, it plays a much smaller role, not making the 10 best-selling GM categories in the channel. When it comes to sales growth, though, the picture is reversed...

February 12, 2015

In a GMDC*Connect videocast, Tim O’Connor, Vice President of RetailNet Group, presented “Canadian Retail Outlook: The Next 18 Months and Beyond.” This whitepaper for GMDC members summarizes O’Connor’s exploration of the key drivers of change that are significantly impacting and will continue to impact the Canadian retail landscape over the coming years.

October 14, 2014

In a GMDC*Connect Videocast, Hannah Donoghue, Senior Analyst at RetailNet Group, presented “North America Retail 2020.” This whitepaper for GMDC members summarizes Donoghue’s exploration of specific drivers of change that are significantly impacting and will continue to impact the North America retail landscape over the next five years.

September 16, 2014

Retailers and Wholesalers that are members of GMDC have access to the data as a benefit of their membership. These members represent the top 60% of Retailers and Wholesalers in North America that influence how General Merchandise product is distributed, merchandised and sold to consumers.

The GM Hierarchy is an exclusive GMDC Member tool created through a partnership between GMDC and Nielsen to be used as a measurement tool that tracks and creates visibility to important sales information by subcategory within the GM Industry. The data in this previously unavailable tool is convenient, consolidated and presented in an easy-to-follow format for GMDC Retailers, Wholesalers, Suppliers and Service Companies.

August 18, 2014

This whitepaper, Seasonal Best Practices, for the New World of Shopping: Part Two, expands on Part One’s retail strategies to build baskets and satisfy shoppers through nonfoods seasonal—and delivers actionable insights for the new ways customers buy today.

July 31, 2014

In a GMDC*Connect Videocast, Juan Carlos Davila, SVP, General Manager Hispanic Market COE at Nielsen, presented “The New Face of the Hispanic Consumer,” introducing retailers and manufacturers to the rise of the new Hispanic consumer. The purpose of the videocast and whitepaper is not just to show the rising numbers of the Hispanic population, Davila’s analysis goes deeper into the numbers to show what’s driving them and exactly how the Hispanic consumer’s interests and lifestyle have evolved as a result.

May 27, 2014

In a GMDC*Connect Videocast, Keith Anderson, VP Digital Strategy at RetailNet Group, presented “Amazon in Focus Part II,” a follow-up to the Part I Videocast which is also available as a whitepaper. While Part I focuses on Amazon’s growth model from a competitive standpoint, Part II places more emphasis on the vendor perspective of maximizing growth on Amazon. This whitepaper for GMDC Members offers strategies and insights into Amazon’s unique sales conversion tool and the various programs it has made available to assist its online merchants. Whether you’re a vendor looking to sell product on Amazon or a vendor looking to enhance current business on Amazon, the following data can ultimately help you win with Amazon.

March 1, 2010

This paper summarizes the second phase of a multi-year research project, Consumer Shopping Habits for Wellness and Environmentally Conscious Lifestyles, conducted with The Hartman Group.  This just released 2010 Phase II final report updates the current state of the health, wellness and environmentally conscious lifestyle market, identifies any trends or changes from Phase I conducted in 2009, and reports on new observations identified in 2010.

This White Paper release will offer insights on:

  • Beauty care/cosmetics attitudes, usage behavior and shopping channel preferences
  • General Merchandise preferences and shopping behavior in grocery stores
  • Importance of natural/organic product options
  • Pharmacist usage behavior and information sought
September 1, 2006

Let the seller beware. That, in a nutshell, is the problem facing general merchandise distributors and retailers as more and more plaintiffs in product liability cases train their sights not only on the manufacturers of injurious products but also on companies that sell or distribute them.

January 30, 2014

In a GMDC*Connect Videocast, Keith Anderson, VP & Senior Analyst at RetailNet Group, presented "Amazon in Focus," an analysis of Amazon's complex business. The following whitepaper for GMDC members includes a breakdown of Anderson's video highlighting Amazon's Growth Model and the company's past, current and future strategies to continue growing and enhancing their presence in the retail industry.

Amazon is consolidating the Non-Store Retail landscape in the U.S. and many of their international markets at a pace and rate that has never before been reported, even from the world's largest Brick & Mortar retailers. In Developed Markets where GDP and formal retailing growth have taken place, Brick & Mortar retailing is growing on average by 3% to 4%. E-commerce is growing at a Compound Annual Growth Rate of 2-3x more than Brick & Mortar retail and Amazon is growing at an even greater rate of 2x more than ecommerce. Even as it scales, Amazon's growth rate is outpacing U.S. store-based retail growth rate by 6x.

February 21, 2014

The GM Hierarchy organizes and quantifies GM category data in order to increase marketplace performance and provide better understanding of the GM categories. There are 18 major categories identified and defined as 'Level 1' in the GM Hierarchy including - Apparel, Baby, Candy, Electronics & Personal Entertainment. Each ‘Level 1' category is then divided further down the scale based on its level of detail. This organizational structure offers retailers the ability to gauge channel activity and sales trends in the GM industry while only having to search a single resource.

March 31, 2014

This whitepaper, Seasonal Best Practices, For The New World of Shopping: Part One, reveals retail strategies to build baskets and satisfy shoppers through non-foods seasonal—plus insights and action tips for the new ways customers buy today.

In addition, New Data from the GMDC / Nielsen GM Hierarchy shows key non-foods seasonal data quantifies opportunities for the first time ever. Case studies show sales can soar with top-down support, analytics-based strategies, and joint presence with holiday foods.

April 15, 2014

Meet the digital shopper: connected, savvy and actively seeking choice, convenience and value for money. As a marketer, what does it take to succeed in an increasingly digital environment? Nielsen conducted extensive research among 20,000 U.S. shoppers of consumer packaged goods (CPG) products to identify enablers and barriers to e-commerce, and to understand the role of digital touchpoints on the shoppers’ path to purchase. This whitepaper will examine the impact of digital on the CPG industry and outline winning principles for marketers.

May 8, 2014

This Tutorial offers a step-by-step process for using the GMDC / Nielsen GM Hierarchy, based off a GMDC*Connect Videocast, "The New General Merchandise Hierarchy" presented by Stuart Taylor, Vice President of Custom Analytics at Nielsen.  The GM Hierarchy is the first ever standardized view of categories within the General Merchandise industry. This tutorial will take you through the steps of accessing, viewing and analyzing the new GMDC member exclusive data in order to best utilize the information provided by the GM Hierarchy to support and build your business in the increasingly competitive GM industry.

December 20, 2012

Consumers are buying Health and Wellness today like never before. In many households, wellness overrides the desire for low prices, and is a primary reason to shop a particular store or buy a specific brand. Retailers can leverage this new wellness urgency to raise performance in nonfood and food categories storewide. With wellness strategies that ring true to customers, and cohesive messaging, assortments and merchandising, stores can become credible wellness authorities.

Why does this matter?

August 15, 2013

Widespread consumer acceptance seems likely today. While national leaders try to fix a massive healthcare system that underperforms, lacks ample accountability, is beset by soaring costs, and fails to reach everyone, retailers offer a wide, refined mix of health products and services that are relatively accessible and affordable.

Stores increasingly address both acute care and preventative needs-at a time when millions of Americans lack access to primary care physicians, and most who struggle in this economy feel they can't afford to get sick so they'd better act more responsibly for their own wellness. 
This provides a sweet spot for stores: Pharmacy and OTCs/nutritionals continue to anchor the retail-health portfolio, as they have for decades. Clinics are on the rise. And, led by fresh thinkers such as Safeway, retailers increasingly try to connect the better-for-you food and nonfood sides of consumer health more closely.

September 1, 2004

EPC, or Electronic Product Code, combined with RFID, or Radio Frequency Identification, may well bring a far vaster rev-olution to mass market retailing than did the bar code 30 years ago. Anumber of industry initiatives from major retailers could well impact virtually every GMDC member company in some way, and indeed, the potential of EPC/RFID can be described as extremely large.

November 1, 2003

The IRS rules regarding healthcare flexible spending accounts, better known as FSAs, changed in Sept. 2003, so that certain over-the-counter (OTC) medicines can now be covered by these programs. This opens up human resource opportunities within every GMDC member company. In addition, the new ruling creates marketing opportunities for GMDC Wholesaler/Retailer members and the specific member companies that manufacture and distribute OTC products covered by FSAs.

July 1, 2005

The issue is simple enough: How to protect the public against the growing threat of methamphetamine abuse while still preserving access to medicines that people need to alleviate the irritating and often debilitating symptoms of colds and allergies. The hard part is achieving the right balance between these two vital public health goals. Before this White Paper looks at how that might be done, it is important to step back and put the issue into historical perspective.

November 5, 2004

Data synchronization is a business tool of tremendous importance to retailers, wholesalers and suppliers in GM/HBC in mass-market retailing. Its usage is growing, and expectations are that at least some version of data synchronization will be a core requirement to do business in the mass market in not too long a time. Implementation will bring huge tangible productivity benefits, while delay or noncompliance may have a serious downside for suppliers and retailers alike.

November 1, 2006

The need for accessible, affordable, quality health care in the United States has never been greater. In response to this need, convenient care clinics (CCC) are being launched across the country to help provide care to meet the basic health care needs of the public.

August 20, 2008

The retail opportunities related to flexible spending accounts (FSAs) are often overlooked. More consumers are signing up for their employer-offered FSAs every year, so well-informed retailers can reap the rewards of customer loyalty and increased market-basket that these shoppers offer.  This white paper also discusses what is needed for the mandatory installation of an inventory information approval system (IIAS) by retailers to continue accepting FSA debit cards by brick-and-mortar pharmacies mandated by January 1, 2009.

March 1, 2009

In an effort to help members understand consumer buying behavior for health, wellness and environmentally conscious lifestyles, GMDC, the Global Market Development Center, has taken a thought leadership role in understanding the concerns, priorities and shopping habits to identify new retail business opportunities

May 24, 2005

This study utilizes a multi-dimensional approach to the understanding of Multicultural Marketing.  It explores a broad range of topics and was designed to address the fundamental issues regarding the marketing of General Merchandise and Health and Beauty Care items to a wide range of culturally defined customer groups.

November 1, 2006

This study goes beyond identifying barriers to growth by focusing on how to overcome them.  It reviews business model challenges as organizations seek to more directly focus on growth.  It reviews go-to-market requirements in total, as well as across specific areas including strategy, process, structure and execution. Growth priorities and barriers to success in each area are examined, and techniques addressing these barriers are offered, along with case study illustrations.  The study defines action steps that can be applied to drive top-line results for your business.

March 12, 2006

This study is a comprehensive document that provides a framework for planning and implementing a year-around seasonal selling program. Study content gives input on key seasons, shows how GM and HBC categories fit into seasonal selling, and presents checklists and forms for use in seasonal merchandising operations.

Seasonal Best Practices Operational Forms Include:

  1. Seasonal Plan Builder
  2. Seasonal Plan Template
  3. Seasonal Plan Checklist
  4. Seasonal Event Planner
  5. Seasonal Event Buy Sell Plan
  6. Seasonal Usage Plan
  7. Cross-Merchandising Suggestions
  8. Executive Plan
  9. Seasonal Purchase Worksheet
  10. Seasonal Event Survey
  11. Last-Minute Seasonal Event Checklist
August 1, 2008

The purpose of this study is to provide an in-depth view into how well pharmacies are integrated within the whole store, how they are driving center store sales and providing the type of health and wellness information desired by consumers.  This research examines shopping dynamics in pharmacies across the full range of brick and mortar channels and provides sections that focus on mail order and drive-thru pharmacy purchasing.  This study also provides actionable recommendations, for both retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers for reaching these important prescription-purchasing shoppers.  Finally, this study builds on the Leveraging the Connection Between Pharmacy and the Whole Store study.

January 12, 2004

This project was designed to acquire a multidimensional understanding of the concept of Women's Well-Being as defined by female consumers.  Four key objectives were identified to guide the research:

  • Create an industry-wide platform for successfully marketing to the Women's Health and Wellness movement.
  • Provide insight and information on the buying habits of female shoppers within the context of Women's Well-Being.
  • Expand the scope of "Women's Health" to include personal care, beauty care, and other categories that women directly link to their overall sense of wellness.
  • Identify successful approaches to Women's Well-Being and show 'best practice' examples that retailers can emulate in designing their own programs.

A wide range of both qualitative and quantitative information was acquired to explore the important issues from several different perspectives.

March 1, 2005

A Study of How Best-in-Class Organizations are Driving Growth with an "Applied Reinvention" Approach.

August 12, 2009

This 180 page report presents the current state of the health, wellness and environmentally conscious lifestyle market and identifies the trends most relevant for wholesalers, retailers and manufacturers in the general merchandise and health, beauty, and wellness space.   The report provides "Actionable Ideas" and "Real Life" examples that provide the background and framework to take advantage of this dynamic customer and their growing sales appetite for products and retailers that support their Health and Wellness lifestyle. 

The primary objective of this research was to define the Health and Wellness consumer and identify and present future retail sales opportunities across general merchandise, health, beauty and wellness categories.   Additionally, this study details consumers' level of interest in buying Health and Wellness items, what Health and Wellness means to consumers, the top Health and Wellness categories, and products or services that consumers identify as most important. 

  • Summarize current research that defines the wellness consumer
  • Identify typical product and category cycles, in terms of the order in which categories are usually adopted, and how categories may serve as gateways for additional Health and Wellness interest and involvement
  • Summarize shopping habits - types of services and products purchased, types of retail locations visited and frequency of purchases
  • Highlight top wellness opportunities to include consume wants and needs, product categories, services and retail practices.

Research approaches used:

  • Qualitative research, specifically here as ethnographic consumer research (in-home, in-store, and group interviews)
  • Quantitative research, as implemented through standard on-line survey methods

To access this study - go to the Education Section in the Member Area.

March 18, 2011

In the spring of 2011, GMDC partnered with the consulting group Radian to launch a multi-year study that will focus on the importance and value of General Merchandise at retail.  The new study will be released in the fall of 2011 and will quantify and demonstrate the facts around the value and importance that GM products bring to retailers and their long-term competitiveness and success.

March 22, 2009

Highlights from GMDC's Recently Completed Primary Research On Consumer Shopping Habits for Wellness and Environmentally Conscious Lifestyles.

This White Paper release from the Consumer Shopping Habits Study, will report on:

  • Consumer Channel Use by Health and Wellness Orientation
  • Critical Issues That Impact Health & Wellness at the Retail Level 

Leveraging the information in this report will be helpful for any retailer looking to increase their level of positive H+W impressions with their shoppers.  The report will also provide manufacturers with insights on consumer shopping behaviors by segment orientation. 

February 3, 2010

As part of GMDC's ongoing commitment to research,  GMDC launched a major multi-year research project to identify the Consumer Shopping Habits for Wellness and Environmentally Conscious Lifestyles. 

This White Paper release will offer insights on:

  • Which Retail Channels Consumers are Using for Wellness Purchases
  • Top Health and Wellness Categories Purchased in each Retail Channel
September 1, 2011

It is year three of tracking the consumer shopping habits of the health, wellness and environmentally conscious lifestyle arena.  We have been taking the pulse of Health and Wellness (H+W) shoppers and closely tracking the trends of the market over the past three years.  We see signs that consumers are continuing in their quest for wellness activities making the H+W market a fast growing and very exciting market to operate in.  Consumers have access to new and compelling products and services to meet their H+W goals.  Likewise, companies have great opportunities to target the vast world of H+W consumers with carefully selected products and services.  In addition to the broad dimensions, this study is intended to:

Identify any changes or trends that have occurred between 2009 through 2011
Examine new areas of interest such as the Inner Mid-level and Outer Mid-level consumer, nutrition bar and functional food consumers, improving the pharmacy department, digital media sources and natural beauty