Distributors affiliated with PRO Group and Val-Test met with manufacturers in Atlanta during 973 scheduled private 30-minute buyer/vendor appointments over the course of two days here.
It was all part of the Group Merchandising Conference.
Participants included 140 distributor and manufacturer attendees. The one-on-one focus on merchandising at the event allows vendors the opportunity to build relationships with distributors according to Steve Synnott, president and CEO of Denver-based PRO Group.
Synnott said one-third of GMC manufacturers are new Group Suppliers, and every exhibitor has something fresh and exciting to present to the distributors. “New suppliers and product categories, fresh merchandisers and assortments, and product introductions highlight the exhibits at the GMC. Distributor buyers advise that their retail customers want to stretch product mix in order to maintain a vibrant shopping experience for consumers. The GMC is well-positioned for this purpose.”
The conference provides an opportunity for manufacturers like Oriskany, New York-based Bonide Products to meet with multiple distributors in one location. “This group of distributors is all mostly privately owned as we are and share a common goal to stock what is profitable and what sells well. They all work well with us to achieve this goal,” said Rich Stryker, VP sales at Bonide.
The conference offers distributors an opportunity to interact with each other, as well as with vendors during one-on-one meetings and evening receptions. “I especially value the opportunity to network with other distributors and always take home many ideas that can help grow business in a competitive market,” said Dan Wentzel, category manager from The CISCO Companies based in Indianapolis.