By: Mark Baum, Chief Collaboration Officer and Senior Vice President of Industry Relations, FMI


In 1965 Bruce Tuckman, a psychological researcher, developed the forming—storming—norming—performing model stating that these phases are each necessary and inevitable to develop a team and build a community. Last month, we announced the new FMI General Merchandise & Health and Beauty Care Initiative as part of our Total Store Collaboration strategy to foster partnerships among trading partners, including retailers, wholesalers, manufacturers, brokers and other service providers  across the industry. This announcement served as the beginning of our forming phase.

The Opportunity for GM/HBC

According to The Food Industry Speaks 2021 report, 52% of food retailers surveyed report using assortment of non-food general merchandise as a differentiation strategy, but only 30% report this strategy is successful. The pandemic has rapidly changed the grocery shopping experience. Today shoppers have a myriad of ways both in-store and online to secure their regular grocery purchases. This increased flexibility requires retailers and suppliers to develop creative practices to attract shoppers. One good way to do that is to dive deeper into differentiation opportunities like General Merchandise, Household and Health and Beauty Care.  

We Are Forming!

For those reasons and more, FMI invites our members to join us in addressing the General Merchandise, Household and Health and Beauty Care opportunity. By joining our new GM/HBC community your company will collaborate with trading partners to focus on ways to grow and develop these categories. It’s an exciting opportunity to drive innovative ideas, products, and solutions to grow the GM/HBC category in our businesses. There are technology, health and well-being, and sustainability factors at play that make this a pivotal time for trading partners to collaborate.

Join Us

We’re at the beginning of the journey and now is a great time to join us in the process as we head towards storming—norming—and preforming.

If you or a team member would like to discuss joining the FMI GM/HBC efforts, please contact Tom Duffy, Senior Advisor, Industry Relations.