WASHINGTON, DC — March 24, 2005 — Employing a comprehensive, detailed and intensive approach to contemporary industry issues, the Food Marketing Institute (FMI) will present five Learning Labs for attendees at the 2005 FMI Show, May 1-3 at the McCormick Place Convention Center in Chicago.

Learning Labs are a series of focused, interactive three-hour sessions designed to build skills in specific areas. At these labs, retailers work with skilled facilitators who go beyond a traditional presentation. Speakers discuss ideas and strategies, and participants often work in smaller groups, using interactive exercises focused on practical concepts that can be applied at store level.

In order to preserve the interactive environment of the sessions, attendance is limited and pre-registration is strongly recommended to guarantee a spot. If unreserved seats are available when doors open, seating will be conducted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Learning Lab topics, room locations and speakers this year include:

Monday, May 2, 8:15 – 11:00 a.m.

Room S102

Meal Solutions: Building Your Business Within a Changing Competitive Environment

“Meal Solutions”, an industry buzz word that means different things for different retailers at different times. Often referred to as a category that isn’t really a category, but a concept that has the supermarket industry facing tough competition for share of stomach and more importantly, share of profitability. Learn how retailers can compete more effectively for these sales against the backdrop of current and future foodservice competition. This session will provide a complete picture of this opportunity through industry experiences and perspectives from a diverse retailer/foodservice panel. Discussions will focus on the latest marketing, merchandising, and operational strategies and tactics to help build your meals solutions business within a changing competitive environment.


Nancy Kruse, President, The Kruse Company

Rob Borella, Director, Giant Eagle, Inc.

Tim Fink, Director, Sales, Shullsburg Creamery, Inc.

Room S103

Earning the Right to Grow: Retailing Success Strategies for Independent Operators

This session will outline a clear methodology for assessing retailer performance, and will help answer the question: What Makes the Competition Successful? Current and short term future trends will be examined for a range of retail channels with a discussion of key drivers for marketplace success. Key themes for retailers will be

  • What can I learn from unrelated classes of trade?


  • Where should I focus my limited time and strategic energy?

  • What are the key attributes of successful retailers?


  • Why is there no correlation in the US retail market today between scale and ability to grow?

Speaker: Bryan Gildenberg, President of Facilitated Products, Management Ventures

Room S104

The Business of Retail Technology

Everyone agrees with the need to continually update technologies at store level to remain competitive in today’s technology rich environment, but not everyone agrees with how and what to actually update. What technologies should I invest in? How do I determine ROI? How do I avoid technology “dazzle” and treat technology as an enabler? How do I use technology to reduce cost, but also enhance the customer shopping experience? Join us as we examine these questions and more at FMI’s retail technology round robin. This forum will allow you to learn from those who have been there and share ideas with other companies facing similar issues.

Moderator: Tom Murphy, President, Peak Tech Consulting LLC

Tuesday, May 3, 8:15 – 11:00 a.m.

Room S102

Store Manager Development — Building Your Store’s Most Important Resource

What makes a store manager effective? Is it influencing profits or people? Join Harold Lloyd as he shares 30 of his best ideas for store execution — 10 selling and merchandising ideas, 10 team building ideas and 10 effective cost cutting ideas to help you build the store team of your dreams, growing top line sales and bottom line profitability. Find out how to use these skills to compete successfully. Gather and bring home new ideas to apply as soon as you return to the store!

Speaker: Harold Lloyd, President, H. Lloyd and Associates

Room S103

Buyer Prepare: Tips for Building Relationships, Growing Sales and Staying Out of Trouble

Skilled buyers can mean the difference between sales growth and a positive bottom line and a company that struggles to compete against the fierce competitive onslaught from the multiplicity of retail channels confronting the grocery channel today. Whether you’re a category manager, buyer, merchandiser or an executive managing the sales and merchandising operation, sometimes you have to leave the four walls of your daily operation and take a look at new and alternative ways to get the job done. Examine what differentiates a successful buyer from one that is ineffective, find out what your suppliers want and how to partner effectively, learn about the latest negotiating strategies and tactics, and update yourself on how avoid ethical and legal pitfalls on the job.


Robert Licht, Vice President of Business Law, The Stop & Shop Supermarket Company

Joel Sebastian, Vice President, Special Projects, Bozzuto's

Peter J. Wyman, National Sales Manager, Ocean Spray Cranberries Inc.

The Learning Labs are open to all 2005 FMI Show attendees, but space is limited, so pre-registration is recommended. To pre-register for the Learning Labs, or for more information, visit the FMI Show Web site at www.fmishow.org or call 800-974-9769.