WASHINGTON, DC — September 9, 2003 — Fighting for market share in an increasingly competitive retail environment, retail executives nationwide will explore compelling innovations in store development and design at the 2003 Retail Store Development Conference (RSD), October 26-28, San Antonio, TX.   Presented by the Food Marketing Institute (FMI), the conference will address the impact of changing consumer demographics, emerging technologies and economic concerns on retail construction trends.

“The future success of the supermarket is dependent on fulfilling the consumer needs and wants and enhancing the overall shopping experience effectively and efficiently,” said Jim St. Charles, vice president, real estate and construction, Earth Fare, Inc., and chairman of this year’s conference. “The RSD Conference is the only educational event that explores retail store development from a supermarket industry perspective and demonstrates how a creative and strategic store design is essential to a profitable retail operation.”

The general sessions will concentrate on key industry topics:

The Economy: Expectations for the Future — Mary L. Burke, partner, The Food Partners, will discuss the future of the food retailing economy.

Channel Blurring: A Consumer Perspective — Todd Hale, senior vice president of consumer insights, ACNielsen, will examine how consumers are taking advantage of their channel shopping opportunities and the demographic groups that are driving changes in retail channel shopping.

Understanding Traffic Patterns Leads to Higher Profits — Herb Sorensen, Ph.D., president, Sorensen Associates, will explore how shoppers actually shop grocery, drug, convenience and specialty retail stores.

CPG Perspective on Store Design — John Engel, partner, retail, Accenture; and Mike Gorshe, executive director, consumer goods and services, Accenture, will take a look at the “science” behind store design in predicting consumer satisfaction and how to balance format decisions.

The extensive workshop program will delve into four key areas of supermarket development: market analysis, real estate, design and construction. Specific session topics include:

  • Creative Grocery-Anchored Real Estate

  • Reaping the Benefits of Store Commissioning

  • Benchmarking Project Costs: Tracking, Organizing and Creating Project Cost Benchmarks

  • Adding Value to Research Reports

  • Best Practices in Supermarket Remodels

  • B2B for RSD: Reducing Project Costs and Improving Efficiency through Adoption of B2B Tools

  • Store Formats: Catching Up With the Consumer

  • Leveraging Technology at Retail for Real Value

  • Those Darn City Planners

The 2003 RSD Conference will close with a multi-faceted presentation by Carr Hagerman of ChartHouse Learning, who will explain the FISH! Philosophy. Hagerman will explore new ideas for energizing the workplace culture.

In addition to the formal program, RSD Committee members will lead attendees in Idea Exchanges, roundtable discussions focused on common concerns in the industry. These sessions will cover benchmarking/reducing project costs, market analysis, lease issues, B2B, crisis planning, managing store maintenance requests, selecting/managing the architect and owner-furnished, contractor-installed equipment.

Rounding out the conference agenda are several networking events, a sponsor showcase and tours of three separate store formats operated by Texas-based H.E. Butt Grocery Company.

New Research Unveiled

FMI’s 2003 Facts About Store Development report will be released at the conference. Michelle Del Toro Jaketic, research manager, FMI, will provide an overview of the report, exploring benchmarking information such as store size, new store and store remodeling costs, and services and departments in stores.

For more information on the 2003 Retail Store Development Conference, please contact Laurie Gethin (202-220-0715, lgethin@fmi.org) or visit www.fmi.org/events.