WASHINGTON, DC — March 9, 2005 — Confronting increased competition in the retail marketplace and marketing to an ever-changing population lead the themes of ten ‘Super Sessions’ slated for the 2005 FMI Show, May 1-3 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in downtown Chicago.   

Featuring top industry experts and state-of-the-industry data on the latest consumer and food retailing trends, ‘Super Sessions’ are comprehensive, high-level, thought-provoking programs designed to provide a broad view of the industry as well as ways to compete effectively.

Opening the 2005 FMI Show is the first ‘Super Session’ — FMI’s signature “Food Marketing Industry Speaks” presentation on Sunday morning, May 1. Built around surveys of food retailing and wholesaling executives, the fact-filled annual session provides an overview of the industry’s most recent operating results combined with current consumer trends and unique observations from industry leaders on ways to increase profitability by building customer relationships.

Other ‘Super Sessions’ offered on the main stage during the three-day education program:

Sunday, May 1

  • Reinventing Grocery Retail in the Value-Driven World: How will the face of retailing look in 20 years? Today’s competitive questions remain unchanged, but the response of traditional food retailers continues to be one of nibbling around the edges of possible solutions rather than developing and executing strategies that clearly differentiate themselves to customers. Executives from McKinsey & Company detail the nature of the threat and offer specific paths retailers can take to differentiate and reinvent their business in a value-driven world.

Monday, May 2

  • The Changing Business Environment for Food Retailing, New Products and the Paradox of Choice: Food industry retailing, wholesaling and manufacturing leaders join noted economists, market researchers and trend followers for a dynamic, three-part analysis of transitioning population demographics, technology, alternative formats and new product trends. Swarthmore College professor Barry Schwartz, a prominent authority on the social and psychological effects of free-market economic institutions on moral, social and civic concerns, and author of The Paradox of Choice: Why More is Less, wraps up the session with a look at today’s decision-challenged consumer.

  • In Search of Freshness: How to Make Your Store Stand Out! How do customers define 'Fresh'? What are they looking at when they judge a store "really fresh" or "not exactly?" How does fresh go beyond perishable departments and encompass your total store image? Hundreds of interviews with customers have yielded some key flashpoints in a store that impact its fresh image the most. Harold Lloyd, president, H. Lloyd and Associates, looks at these flashpoints and how effective merchandising enhances differentiation, minimizes competition and builds profits.

Tuesday, May 3

  • Winning Strategies For Your Most Important Shoppers: AC Nielsen Senior Vice President Todd Hale leads a multifaceted session with an in-depth analysis of the FMI/AC Nielsen study, Winning Strategies for Your Most Important Shoppers, which profiles major shopper segments across U.S. retail channels based on household shopping behavior. In particular, retailers will learn about specific categories and service offerings they can leverage to appeal to the unique needs of their customers and build sales, particularly among the high volume shopper.

    Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done: Following Hale, Ram Charan, co-author, Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done rounds out the session by taking a look at how successful companies execute strategies and the tools needed to reach business objectives. Specific examples using companies such as Wal-Mart, Dell and General Electric will be used.

  • Driving Profits By Making Your Competitors Irrelevant: Gone are the days of the 1980’s when 95 percent of U.S. families made at least one primary shopping trip per week to a conventional supermarket. The competition for grocery shoppers was largely irrelevant. However, in today’s world of multi-channel shoppers, supermarkets face unprecedented challenges to profitability. This session will examine four profitability mandates derived from a 2004 study conducted by the Coca Cola Research Council, as well as case examples of extraordinary retailers who have out-strategized tough competitors. Creating minimally contested target markets, retaining customers and increasing sales per trip, taking business from alternative formats, anticipating emerging sales growth opportunities, and designing innovative cost efficiency practices will be discussed.

The FMI Show — The Place to Be in 2005

The 2005 FMI Show will be an event like no other, offering unprecedented service and customized benefits. Participants of all sizes will find value, efficiency and productivity in this once-a-year gathering of industry leaders from all over the world. For more information, visit the 2005 FMI Show Web site (www.fmishow.org) for details on exhibitors and workshops, and to register online.