True Value kicks off regional growth conferences

True Value has kicked off its 2008 Regional Member Growth Conferences, which provide an opportunity for True Value store owners to network with each other and allow members of the management team and regional staff to share information, ideas and successful business strategies.

The Chicago-based co-op held its first four one-day conferences in July -- in Naperville, Ill.; Overland Park, Kan.; Austin, Texas; and Warwick, R.I. There will be three events in August, five in September and one in October. The total of 13 conferences is the most True Value has ever held.

Each conference offers an extended session with president and CEO Lyle Heidemann, as well as three breakout sessions on topics that help store owners grow their businesses. Each regional conference is specifically designed to address the issues and needs of that particular region.

Almost 100 member stores attended the Naperville, Ill., conference, the company said.

"We initiated these regional growth conferences to give True Value retailers an opportunity to exchange ideas and share concerns with fellow co-op members and True Value management," Heidemann said. "The conferences are a great way to elicit the necessary member feedback that will ultimately have a direct impact on how we plan our strategies and initiatives."

At the Baltimore conference on Aug. 5, for example, Deb Johnson, director of retail systems for True Value, will discuss inventory productivity and managing margins. She will also look at high-level economic trends and what it takes for store owners to keep retail fresh.

Other themes being addressed at the conferences include the following: Price Change Management; Financial Management; Human Resources Toolkit; Inventory Productivity; POS Market Basket; 2009 Marketing Planning and Preparing for a Productive Market.

The remaining conference cities and dates are Charlotte, N.C. (Aug. 7); Warrensville Heights, Ohio (Aug. 12); Minnetonka, Minn. (Sept. 9); Las Vegas (Sept. 11); Sacramento, Calif. (Sept. 16); Seattle (Sept. 18); Atlantic City, N.J. (Sept. 23); and Denver (Oct. 2).

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