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NARMS Board Updates on Initiatives

July 21, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

In a memo issued this week to the members of NARMS, Board of Directors Chairperson Mary Jo Bastuba outlined some of the progress being made by the Association toward the projects and initiatives discussed at the NARM Spring Conference in Monterey. Among the key topics in the memo are: Spring Conference Venues, the Executive Director search, Accreditation, and the RORI study.

In the three months since Monterey, a volunteer committee was formed to help select locations for the NARMS Spring Conference for 2013 and beyond. If you recall, a decision was made in Monterey to stick with Saddlebrook in Tampa for the 2012 17th Annual NARMS Spring Conference. The committee consists of Marc Shapiro, Jim Fulk, Lucas Pierce, Bruce Wisener, Maria Siliamianos, and Judy Einbinder. The goal of the committee is to identify and suggest more centrally located cities for the annual event. Suggestions so far include Dallas, Las Vegas, Orlando, and New Orleans. The committee will look at possible venues in these cities and determine cost effective hotels, airfare and other factors deemed important by the members.

During the summer board meeting, The NARMS Board of Directors spent a great deal of time and consideration on a Job Description for the vacant Executive Director position. The description outlines the exact requirements and experience required to fill the position. That work is now complete and the opening has been listed on several career websites including Career Connection on www.narms.com. Phone screens and face to face interviews will take place in September with the goal to have the new Executive Director in place by November 1.

A common thread that was identified by the division committees in spring was the desire to continue along the path toward an Accreditation program. Although the program was side tracked last year, the Board is continuing to keep the topic on the front burner. Final steps are now underway to wrap up the RORI study. A final whitepaper will be available to the membership shortly followed by a NARMS Webinar where the members will get a chance to have all their questions answered.

These are exciting times for your trade association. Stay tuned for further updates that will be coming to you via email, NARMS Newsfeed and NARMS official blogs Top Shelf and What’s in-Store.

Conference Keynotes Electrify Final Day

April 14, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

2011confTuesday wrapped up the 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Conference and Exhibition in fine style, as a star studded cast of keynote speakers took the main stage at the Monterey Conference Center. Each guest speaker added a unique contribution to the gathering of at-retail merchandising and marketing professionals. All in attendance agreed that it was a great way to cap off and engrain the lessons learned during the four days in California.

Early risers got a chance to hear from Al McClain of RetailWire.com as he presented Shopper Insights: Actionable or Academic at the MSO breakfast session. The PIC Division got their morning started with Mark Hunter presenting his ever popular Emerging Trends 2011 series. This year, Hunter focused on the trends that will be specifically shaping the future of new store set-up, remodel and at-retail installation services.

The General Session started with a moving and inspirational talk from nationally renowned motivational speaker and author Tommy Spaulding. Spaulding delivered his message: It’s Not Just Who You Know with deeply personal and heartwarming stories about building life changing relationships with everyone in your life, both personal and professional.

Dr. John Henderson then got things back to business with: Business Capability Platforms-New Models of Innovation and Operational Excellence. Henderson used relevant and real world examples of companies and vendors who are hugely successful at co-creating value. When looking at these case studies, Henderson identifies critical actions that develop a highly strategic business platform.

Doug Stephens pulled the world of retail into the mix with: What Now? Selling to the Post-Crisis Consumer. The recognized Retail Profit showed why the roots of the current economy actually reach back 40 years with vivid examples of the changing face of retail. He explained that the current frugality is just a coping strategy and that strategies and tactics to win back real purchasing power are attainable by understanding current consumers and global realities.

Finally, Myra Golden graced the main stage with: Social Media as the New Customer Service. This topic is very important to NARMS members who not only have their own customers to satisfy, but also are instrumental in providing great service to the ultimate consumer. NARMS members also utilize a large decentralized source of labor which becomes another very important group of consumers. Golden used her pioneering position in employing social media as a customer service tool to provide examples how companies are bridging the gap. The audience walked away with some very practical steps on how each could employ social media in their own organization.

The 2012 Conference will be held on April 14-17, 2012 at Saddlebrook in Wesley Chapel, Florida. If this year was any indication, you will want to put it on your calendar now.

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#NARMSCON482, #NARMSCON483, #NARMSCON485, #NARMSCON489, #NARMSCON491, #NARMSCON493

NARMS Exhibitors Energize Conference

April 7, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

2011confEach year, the NARMS Spring Conference includes an exhibit hall featuring some of the top service providers to the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry. The 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Conference and Exhibition is no different. The event this year will be held on April 9-12 at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey, California.

As you are making your plans for Monterey, plan to stop by the exhibit booths and spend some time checking out the variety of goods and services being offered. The trade show floor opens at 1:00 PM on Sunday and is open each day for you to stroll at your convenience. There are some additional social events planned to give you even more access. Monday, April 11 will include a lunch on the trade show floor at 12:30 PM. Later in the day, an Exhibitor Reception will be held at 5:00 PM. Tuesday, April 12 will again feature a lunch on the trade show floor at 12:45 PM. Here is a list of the exhibitors and a link to more information about each:

Celayix Software

Computer Resource Center, Inc.

Corporate Lodging Consultants

Extra Space Storage National Accounts

Labor Ready

Metaworks Inc.

NARMS

NARMScertifyU

Natural Insight

PODS Enterprises, Inc.

Retail Tactics

Set and Service Resources

Each of these exhibitors offers solutions designed specifically for NARMS members. They may have just what you are looking for to tackle your day-to-day operational and staffing challenges.

If you are traveling to Monterey this weekend, we look forward to seeing you at our value-packed annual event. If you cannot make it this year, take some time to review the exhibitor information above. Either way, we know you will find it time well spent. #NARMSCON469

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Be Mobile at Spring Conference

March 31, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

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By now, many of you have visited the Conference Center on www.narms.com and have seen the great agenda that is lined up for the attendees of the 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Conference and Exhibition. The event this year will be held on April 9-12 at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey, California. If you have not already registered, you can do so here. This year, you also have the option of taking the Conference Center with you via your iPhone, Android, Blackberry or other smart phone.

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Simply scan the QR Code included with this story to be taken to the Mobile Conference Center. Here you will be able to access all of the events on any given day at a glance. If you do not already have one, you will have to download a QR Code Reader App for your smart phone such as Optiscan for iPhone.

narmscon_agenda

The Mobile Conference Center is built specifically for your smart phone screen so it is easy to read and navigate. You will be taken to a home screen that allows you to view the conference agenda or reference conference sponsors and special offers.

Be sure to follow @narmscon on twitter to get workshop notifications and other information as the conference progresses. If you do not have a twitter account, just send FOLLOW narmscon to 40404 from your cell phone to get notifications. When the conference is over, simply send UNFOLLOW narmscon to 40404 to stop getting notifications. If you can text, you can tweet.

Conference is now only days away and the excitement for the at-retail merchandising and marketing services industry showcase event is building. The Mobile Conference Center is just another way for you to get the most out of your four days in Monterey.

Networking, Networking, Networking

March 22, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

2011conf

Of the top reasons to attend the 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Spring Conference and Exhibition, networking is number one on the list. The conference is scheduled for April 9-12 at the Portola Plaza Hotel on Monterey Bay in Monterey, California. In addition to all the educational opportunities, speakers and workshops, the value-packed agenda also has some built-in times to meet and greet your fellow at-retail merchandising and marketing service professionals. You will also want to take an opportunity to speak to a very special group of exhibitors who will be available on the trade show floor to show you how their goods and services can help you achieve your goals.

On Sunday, April 10, the trade show opens at 1:00 PM and runs until 7:00 PM. Later that day, there will be an Opening Night Reception from 6:00-7:00 PM. The day will end with a chance to meet your NARMS leadership at the NARMS Hospitality Suite, which runs from 9:00 PM to midnight. This gathering will feature the NARMS Executive Committee, NARMS Board Members and NARMS Committee Chairs.

Monday, April 11th brings even more opportunities to network. The Internet Café opens at 7:00 AM for you to take care of some quick business between sessions and will remain open all day. Continental Breakfast will be served from 7:30 to 8:45 AM. Lunch will be on the trade show floor at 12:30 PM to give you even more of a chance to interact with exhibitors while you fuel up for the rest of the day. The trade show floor will remain open until 6:00 PM. Monday closes with an Exhibitor Reception at 5:00 PM followed by the NARMS Hospitality Suite at 9:00 PM sponsored by Natural Insight.

Tuesday, April 12 will begin again with the Internet Café and Continental Breakfast being available to busy conference goers. The trade show will open at 10:00 AM and close at 2:00 PM on the final day. Lunch will again be served on the trade show floor at 12:45 PM. A terrific Spring Conference will conclude with a NARMS Wine Tasting Networking Party at 3:00 PM and later that night, you will not want to miss the Closing Night Reception and Dinner scheduled for 6:00 PM.

Face to face networking is still vitally important as together we shape the future of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry. For more information on these events and all that Spring Conference has to offer, visit the Conference Center at www.narms.com and register today.

NGA Issues Consumer Survey Report

March 10, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

ngareport According to the newly published National Grocers Association-SupermarketGuru Consumer Panel Report, consumers want to move on from the economic stress of the past two years and regain spending freedom. But the report goes on to say that consumers are in a price trance and that it is up to food retailers to come up with well-executed strategies and themes to break the status quo. The report is offered as key consumer insight into reasons that consumers buy beyond price. You can download your copy by clicking here.

The survey was conducted for NGA by SupermarketGuru.com between November 2010 and early January 2011. Almost 2,000 chief household shoppers detailed their experiences, behaviors and sentiment on what appeals to them about supermarkets, as well as their purchase influences, eating habits and nutritional concerns. A total of 74 shopping attributes were addressed in the survey.

For members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service community, it is a good idea to stay in tune with this kind of information because it ultimately drives in-store execution decisions made by retailers and manufacturers. Keeping in step, NARMS has arranged several workshops at the 16th Annual NARMS Spring Conference and Exposition that also train a keen eye on consumer behavior.

The first is NARMS U General Session # 2 on Sunday, April 10 from 5:00 to 6:00 PM when Kit Yarrow of Golden Gate University presents- The Marketers Guide to Hooking-Up with Gen Y. Yarrow has authored a book on the subject called -Gen BuY: How Tweens, Teens and Twenty-Somethings are Revolutionizing Retail.
The next takes place on Tuesday, April 12 from 7:30 to 8:45 AM at the MSO Division Session # 2 - Shopper Insights: Actionable or Academic. This session will share new collaborative shopper insight research findings shared by Al McClain of RetailWire and Nadine Hernandez of DemandTec, Inc. A little later in the day, from 11:45 to 12:45, at NARMS U General Session # 5, Doug Stephens of Retail Prophet Consulting will present- What Now? Selling to the Post-Crisis Consumer.

Spring conference this year will be held at Portola Plaza Hotel on Monterey Bay in Monterey, California. Click here to view the agenda and register for this value-packed event. Do not delay, Conference is only a month away!

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Sign Up for Legal Consult

March 8, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

russhollrah-scaledIf you run an at-retail merchandising and marketing services company and had a chance to sit down with a top attorney in the area of employment law, would you take advantage of the opportunity? During the 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Spring Conference and Exhibition, you will have just that chance as Russ Hollrah, Esq. is offering free 30 minute legal consults. The sessions will take place on Sunday, April 10 from 3:30 to 6:00 P.M. at the Portola Plaza Hotel on Monterey Bay in Monterey, California.

Hollrah has been a frequent NARMS contributor, and always proves to be a popular resource for conference goers and NARMS Webinar Series attendees. Last year, he hosted discussions on labor classification, a topic that is crucial for most members of NARMS who utilize an outsourced, decentralized workforce to perform shelf-level work for manufacturers and retailers.

A founder of Hollrah Leyden LLC, Russ Hollrah is an AV rated attorney with a national practice dedicated to advising firms on structuring relationships with contingent workers, either directly or through a third-party firm, and defending companies against challenges to their treatment of workers as non-employees before federal and state government agencies and in litigation. Hollrah also provides firms and organizations with regulatory and legislative representation on issues involving independent-contractor status. His practice covers both federal and state laws.

Because of the popularity of these sessions, and the limited time available, it is necessary to pre-register to participate. You can do this by directly contacting NARMS Headquarters. The legal consults are just another example of the value-packed agenda awaiting those who register. Visit the Conference Center at www.narms.com for all the information you need for your trip to Spring Conference in April. #NARMSCON497

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Shopper Insights: Actionable or Academic?

March 3, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

maclainOn April 12th, the members of NARMS will learn more about the value of shopper insights in at-retail merchandising and marketing processes when Al McClain of RetailWire and Nadine Hernandez of DemandTec, Inc. present - Shopper Insights: Actionable or Academic? The presentation will be the second MSO Division Workshop to take place at the 16th Annual NARMS Spring Conference and Exposition held this year at the Portola Plaza Hotel on Monterey Bay in Monterey, California.

The breakout session will showcase original quantitative research conducted by DemandTec in conjunction with RetailWire. MSO members and all conference attendees can hear key findings of the research and learn how shopper insights are important for both actionable insights and customer alignment in retail merchandising and marketing processes. The survey polled nearly 600 RetailWire community respondents in September of 2010, spanning across both retailers and manufacturers, from executive management to category managers.

The presentation also will highlight industry perspective from McClain, CEO of RetailWire, and Hernandez, Global Marketing Director of Shopper Insights at DemandTec, about the value of shopper insights and how these insights can be applied within merchandising, marketing, pricing, trade, product development, and other retail disciplines. Shopper-centric planning is becoming the norm for retailers and their trading partners. As a result, manufacturers and retailers must integrate shopper analytics at the point of decision into their merchandising, marketing, and trade planning processes.

The NARMS annual showcase event is right around the corner. If you have not already done so, visit the Conference Center at www.narms.com to view the value-packed agenda, register for conference and make your hotel arrangements. #NARMSCON482

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February Times & Trends Outlines New CPG Opportunities

February 24, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Friday Focus, What's in store

tt211The February issue of Times & Trends by SymphonyIRI, CPG Year in Review: Out of Turmoil Rises Opportunity takes a sustained look at economic, channel, department and category performance during calendar 2010. This Year in Review edition is great reading for CPG marketers seeking to understand the new market opportunities that have arisen out of the ashes of the great recession. For the members of NARMS, who provide those marketers and their retailer partners with expert at-retail merchandising and marketing services, it also makes sense to keep fingers on the pulse.

One area of interesting analysis revolves around a shifting channel share. While Grocery and Mass channels saw little to no change in their share of the action, the Drug channel experienced an over 1% jump in share. That is a significant leap when you consider that the Drug channel occupies 11% of overall CPG spending.

In a measurement of category sales, center store and beauty care experienced huge increases. The finding underscores a big shift in consumer buying habits changed, maybe forever, by the recession. Shoppers are now spending much more time at home preparing their own meals and becoming more self-reliant in health and beauty needs. Surprisingly, food sales are up in the Drug channel and health and beauty care is flat, which further outlines the changing dynamic.

This is just a brief sampling of the kind of information and facts packed into this report which can help you understand the marketplace shifts that your customers must master. You can download Times & Trends by clicking here.

For even more insight directly from marketers and retailers, you can attend the Manufacturer-Retailer Connection Forum held on Monday, April 11th at the 16th Annual NARMS Spring Conference and Exposition held this year in Monterey, California. The forum this year will feature insight from speakers representing Spin Master, Ltd.; Starbucks; Best Buy; Just Born; Ghirardelli Chocolate Company; Walgreens and Vanns Inc. Click here to access the Conference Center where you will find a value-packed agenda, hotel and registration information. #NARMSCON463

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Get Invested in Spring Conference

February 15, 2011 by Newsfeed Editor  
Filed under Top Shelf

2011confIn an era of government deficits, much of the political discourse in Washington and in state capitols across the nation revolves around the balancing act of taxing and spending. Putting budgets back on track will surely involve taking a hard look at spending to make sure each item is an appropriate investment for future prosperity. In the business world, we are all faced with those decisions every day. Today, we will take a look at great investment opportunity for the members of the at-retail merchandising and marketing service industry, the 2011 16th Annual NARMS Meeting, Spring Conference and Exhibition.

The first, and perhaps most important, opportunity is to register and attend the showcase event being held on April 9-12 at the magnificent Portola Plaza Hotel on Monterey Bay in Monterey, California. Although the location itself is stunning, you will want to check out the value-packed agenda which is designed to ensure the time spent in California will maximize your investment. You can visit the Conference Center here for full details, but a few of the highlights include: NARMS 16th Annual Spring Conference Keynote Panel - What a Retailer Really Wants from an In-Store Service Provider - moderated by Dan Raftery of Raftery Resource Network, Sampling & Demo Study moderated by Dr. Kenny Herbst of Wake Forest University, and of course the Manufacturer –Retailer Connection Forum. The forum this year will feature representatives from Spin Master, Ltd.; Starbucks; Best Buy; Just Born; Ghirardelli Chocolate Company; Walgreens and Vanns Inc. There is also a full slate of Division meetings, keynote speakers, store tours and hospitality events.

The trade show portion is another valuable investment for companies who bring innovative programs and services to our members. Many of these exhibitors are also Associate Members who not only support us with their exhibitor fees, but also play an active role in the discussion on how to best serve our retailer and CPG manufacturer clientele. Interested companies can visit the Conference Center for all of the information they need to join the show. The agenda has included some special events such as lunches on the trade show floor and a reception to allow for a more enriching networking experience beyond just walking the trade show hall.

The third investment opportunity lies in sponsorships. There are several primary sponsor opportunities remaining for our 2011 event. Put your company into the limelight and demonstrate your commitment to NARMS by becoming a Platinum, Gold or Silver Sponsor of the event. Sponsorships remain for the Tuesday morning and afternoon general sessions and many of the food/beverage related activities, plus the Sunday night NARMS Hospitality Suite. Looking for a new and fresh sponsorship prospect? Your company can now sponsor a student from the UW-Madison retailing excellence program or local California students. To investigate further, hit the Sponsorship tab at the Conference Center.

If this column seems long, it is only because you simply cannot run out of things to talk about when promoting the 2011 NARMS Spring Conference. We have truly only scratched the surface. If you are looking to make your promotional, outreach and education dollars true investment spending for the future, Monterey is a good place to start.

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