Critical Thinking for Critical Issues, In Critical Times Apr 14, 2017 By: Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer & Senior Vice President, Industry Relations, Food Marketing Institute You know you need to keep up with what’s going on in the food retailing industry, but sometimes it’s hard. You have responsibilities that keep you tethered to the office or your stores. However hectic your days may be, have confidence that there are many in the food retailing community struggling with the same issues – there are likeminded individuals out there having the same experience as you and anyone of you could possess a solution to a critical area of the business. The nation’s food retailers respond each year to a survey that ranks their most pressing business concerns; specifically in 2016, the cost of providing healthcare, competition from other food retailers and channels, the regulatory environment, interchange fees, and the job market ranked highest on this “Worry Index.” Our food retail members responded in this survey that they most often differentiate themselves via customer service, fresh foods and produce and private brand strategies. With that in mind FMI has designed four events in one week in one major city to promote thoughtful connections for food retail businesses on these business imperatives: From Sunday to Tuesday, June 11-13, the “rising stars” in your company can participate in the Future Leaders eXperience, a learning-laboratory program that will help them develop and deepen the leadership and management skills that will take your company and their careers to the next level. On Tuesday, June 13, invitees will participate in the FMI Executive Leadership Forum with senior-level peers at other retailers & wholesalers to find out the latest on the leading and most critical digital industry trends and leadership strategies. Tuesday and Wednesday, June 13 and 14, you can catch up on the technologies that are now being applied to merchandising, marketing and supply chain issues at the PULSE: Technology Enabling the Path to Modern Retailing event. Finally, on Wednesday and Thursday, June 14 and 15, join the FMI Fresh Foods Leadership Council meeting and then wrap up your trip to Chicago with a complimentary visit to the showfloor of the United Fresh Expo at McCormick Place. The world of food retail is always changing, so having the tools to make strategic adjustments and adapt requires the right talent, resources and a collaborative spirit. Download the FMI June events flyer here.