WASHINGTON, DC — March 15, 2001 — Showcasing the recent launch of its new Independent Operator division, Food Marketing Institute (FMI) will offer an extensive array of workshops, special events and other activities specifically targeted toward independent operators at the 2001 FMI Show. The FMI Show will be held May 6-8 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in downtown Chicago.

“Independents will find much to choose from at the show this year – from selected educational sessions to an exhibit floor flush with thousands of new products to a number of networking events,” said Michael Sansolo, FMI senior vice president and president of the Institute’s new Independent Operator division. “As our industry continues to change at the speed of thought, the FMI Show is still the best place for retailers of all sizes to see, hear, touch and taste the hottest trends in food retailing.”        

Education Program

Nearly a third of the workshops comprising the 2001 FMI Show educational program are particularly relevant to independents, focusing on a broad range of topics and linked to the show theme, Reach for New Growth. Key workshop dates and titles:

Monday, May 7

  • Sourcing Capital for Growth in Today’s Financial Markets

  • Consumers are Shopping for Solutions: Position Yourself for Profit

  • Differentiate or Die

  • From Newspaper Ads to Jobs.com: Recruitment and Retention in the New Millennium

  • Secret Tools for Starting Your Neighborhood

Tuesday, May 8

  • Promoting a Positive Price Perception

  • How Do You Arm a Store Manager to Run a Store Better Than They Did Before?

  • 21 Creative Strategies to Improve Employee and Customer Loyalty

Exhibit Floor

Independent retailers will be especially interested in the new Category Close-Ups sessions being held right on the exhibit floor. Covering topics such as private label branding, specialty food sales and techno-merchandising, the unique sessions will offer hot tips on ways to creatively and effectively boost sales.

Highlighting the floor will be two pavilions – The Fresh Pavilion: Produce and Whole Health and SuperTechMart. SuperTechMart, now in its second year, showcases supermarket technology and its impact on improving operating efficiencies. The Fresh Pavilion: Produce and Whole Health features products associated with the increasing consumer interest in whole health solutions, including fortified foods, organic foods, supplements and fresh produce. Dynamic merchandising strategies will be on display in both pavilions and across the show floor.

Special Events

FMI will host several special events that are particularly useful for independents:

Orientation Sessions: FMI invites members to learn “How to Maximize Your FMI Membership!” during two members-only orientation sessions, 9:45 – 10:30 a.m. on Sunday, May 6 and 7:30 – 8:15 a.m. on Monday, May 7. The sessions will be held in the FMI Membership Suite located outside the South Hall entrance.

Independent Operators Networking Reception: Sunday, May 6, 5:00 – 6:00 p.m., Grand Ballroom (S100) Foyer, McCormick Place.
Sponsored by Shurfine International,Inc.

Chicago Store Tours: Organized tours of Chicago-area supermarkets will be held Saturday through Tuesday – transportation provided ($65 fee). For reservations, contact Michael O’Connell at (312) 567-8430.     

Show Registration

To register for the 2001 FMI Show, contact FMI convention services (202) 452-8444; call FMI’s Automated Show Infoline at 1-800-890-SHOW (7469), ext. 900; or visit the 2001 FMI Show Web site (www.fmishow.org) for details about workshops and exhibitors, and to register online.