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GMDC GM15 Conference Concludes with 11,000 Meetings and a New Retail Trends Forecasting Tool

June 1, 2015

Orlando, Fla., June 1, 2015 – As the 2015 Global Market Development Center General Merchandise (GM15) Marketing Conference concluded today at the Orlando World Marriott Center, attendees completed more than 11,000 business meetings and were introduced to new exclusive tools, including the GMDC/RetailNet Group Insights Portal, a new retail industry trends forecasting tool companies can use to enhance their marketplace performance insights.

In addition to GMDC’s “speed-dating” formats between retailers, suppliers, wholesalers and service companies, conference attendees accessed networking receptions and knowledge-sharing sessions to maximize business-building opportunities. 

“GM15 was a great success and gave our members and industry guests action items and product discoveries as well as the new GMDC/RNG Insights Portal which they can use to create powerful business strategies. The energy felt during this conference should empower attendees to be catalysts for innovation in the marketplace.” said Patrick Spear, GMDC president and newly appointed CEO. “Most of all, the relationships forged during this conference help promote critical connectivity to grow and expand member companies.

Additional highlights and takeaways from the conference:

  • On Friday, May 29, Dan O’Connor, president and CEO of RetailNet Group, presented “Re-Defined Retail," which projected a model of retail in 2020 based on changing social, technological and economical factors. GMDC and RNG announced the new partnership tool, the GMDC/RNG Insights Portal, which helps member companies to accelerate business planning, benchmark retail performance and answer critical questions when building their businesses.  Learn more. 
  • Conference attendees received GMDC’s latest research and retail insights on pet merchandising. The study, “Why Pet Products Matter” validates the high-gross margin of pet food and nonfood products for grocery and drug stores and describes opportunities for these stores to grow their offerings. View the report.
  • New product debuts included the Hiro, a bluetooth enabled “thing finder” which solves the question, “Where’s my stuff?” The small plastic device can be attached to almost any personal item and paged using a companion smartphone application. Learn more at
  • The new product showcase featured more than 300 product entries from companies including GE Lighting, OXO, BIC Corporation and Rust-Oleum, filling a 7,500-square foot display room. Approximately 260 of these product entries will be delivered to the conference's donation partner, Harbor House of Central Florida.

The GM15 Marketing Conference is the annual industry event focused on enhancing business opportunities for GMDC members looking to expand general merchandise category growth across the footprint of the entire store. The GM16 Marketing Conference will be held June 10, 2016 to June 14, 2016 in Orlando.  GMDC will host its 2015 Health, Beauty and Wellness Marketing Conference October 1-5, at the JW Marriott Desert Ridge, Phoenix, Ariz.