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New GMDC whitepaper on spring and summer seasonal strategies that will sync stores with consumers

August 20, 2014

The Global Market Development Center (GMDC) and its Educational Leadership Council have released the "Seasonal Best Practices, for the New World of Shopping: Part Two" whitepaper, a comprehensive look at total-store business-building opportunities through nonfoods during the January to September merchandising seasons.

This whitepaper, a follow-up to Part One issued in March 2014 which focused on Q4 seasons such as Thanksgiving and Christmas, is filled with actionable consumer insights for retailers and CPG suppliers, case studies, new GMDC/Nielsen GM Hierarchy data, and a proprietary survey of GMDC member retailers.

"Seasonal Best Practices, for the New World of Shopping: Part Two" underscores the increasingly strategic view of seasonal nonfoods merchandising taken by retail senior executives. It also pinpoints numerous times of the year when stores can grow basket size, increase trips and elevate the shopping experience through nonfoods seasonal. Included are various case studies that demonstrate how smart sourcing, trend spotting, and targeted messages can drive seasonal successes, while retailer interviews address critical issues in nonfoods seasonal.

“The span of seasonal education gained from reading this whitepaper will truly make retailers and their partners appreciate the potential of nonfoods seasonal, when done right, to grow your total store,” said Mark Mechelse, Director of Research, Industry Insights & Communications, GMDC. “It will allow them to be more effective and timely in implementing seasonal selling strategies to better tell their story, better relate to their audience and upsell consumers.”

GMDC/Nielsen GM Hierarchy data tables illustrate new measurability driving seasonal performance – showing that Best Practice food retailers outpace laggards in almost every seasonal opportunity of the year. Additionally, findings in the exclusive GMDC survey of member retailers point the way in retailer-supplier collaboration and targeting nonfoods seasonal to specific customer groups.

As retailers currently merchandise for the busy Back-to-School (BTS) season, data cited in the whitepaper emphasizes the necessity of keeping an omni-channel presence at retail by revealing that when it comes to using smartphones, 66% of BTS shoppers use them to locate retailers, 64% compare prices, and 43% check item availability.

At the GMDC Virtual Roundtable, GMDC member Scott Shapiro, Category Manager GM/Seasonal at Brookshire's, discusses integrating smart digital strategies into seasonal marketing to reach key target audiences.

“We issue more seasonal nonfoods deals via text and emails to frequent shopper cardholders. We time these to the last week of major seasons to boost customer traffic and awareness, and we’ve seen benefits,” said Shapiro.

While the full version of “Seasonal Best Practices for the New World of Shopping: Part Two” is available to GMDC members only, the executive summary, is available for public viewing and can be found at  An executive summary for Part One is also available at GMDC members can view the full version of both whitepapers in their myGMDC Content Library.

If you are not a GMDC member but are interested in knowing more about the association and joining, please visit or contact Keith Wypyszynski ([email protected]) at 719.785.7367.


About GMDC: The Global Market Development Center (GMDC) is the premier global trade association dedicated to serving General Merchandise and Health Beauty Wellness retailers, wholesalers and suppliers. GMDC promotes critical connectivity to grow and expand member companies by uniting members through business building events and opportunities and enriching their thinking through education and training; consumer and business insights; and information resources.