GMDC Announces Technology Enhancements

NEW YORK – The Global Market Development Center announced a slew of technology enhancements, including a new product portal,  the expansion of a teleconferencing network and the March launch of a new category hierarchy, at a meeting at the Time-Life Building here Wednesday night.

The portal, GMDC365 (gmdc365.org [4]), developed in partnership with The Retail Gateway (retailgateway.com [5]), is a repository of information — free for retailers — on general merchandise companies and products, as well as a source of retail news, trends, video demonstrations and educational materials. “We are looking forward to supporting this initiative to find new and exciting products more efficiently,” said Bill Anderson, group vice president, drugstore, beauty, GM, floral and service, H-E-B [6], San Antonio, Texas, in a statement.

GMDC-Connect, GMDC’s Telepresence teleconferencing network that was piloted at its marketing conferences last year, will be expanded during the first quarter of 2013 to more than 100 member companies that will be able to leverage the technology at their desktops in day-to-day business activities.

To facilitate adoption, next month GMDC will be sending two Logitech conference cameras to 40 retailers, said David McConnell, president and chief executive officer of GMDC, Colorado Springs , which is funding connectivity for its members. The service, also available on the iPhone and iPad, is supported by Blue Jeans Network, Mountain View, Calif.

Dewayne Rabon, vice president, general merchandise, health and beauty, and family care, Winn-Dixie Stores [7], Jacksonville, Fla., participated in the GMDC meeting via the Telepresence service. “We can’t always travel, and Telepresence gives us the opportunity to still have that connectivity,” he said. “It’s much more face-to-face than phone calls or email.”

GMDC also announced a March launch date for its industry-first category hierarchy, developed with Nielsen and consulting firm Radian, which will provide category-level syndicated sales data that retailers can use to compare their chain’s GM sales against trends in the grocery channel and others such as drug and mass.

The GMDC/Nielsen Hierarchy includes 18 major categories that have been identified as “level 1,” including baby, candy, publishing (reading material), social expressions (greeting cards), seasonal, household, toys, pet and school and office. Each of these is further divided into multiple level 2 and level 3 subcategories.

The hierarchy will enable retailers and suppliers to “talk in the same language and have collaborative conversations regarding opportunities,” said Mark Deuschle, vice president, business development and chief marketing officer, GMDC .

In other GMDC news announced at the meeting:

  • GMDC is switching the dates of its annual marketing conferences. HBW will be held May 31-June 3 in San Antonio, Texas, in collaboration with the Food Marketing Institute, while the GM Conference will take place Sept. 6-10 in Phoenix.
  • GMDC is partnering with the RetailNet Group, Waltham, Mass., to make a photo and video library of stores available to its members. The library can be sorted by category, retailer and geography.
  • As part of its Path-to-Purchase program, GMDC will release research on consumer behavior related to pre-purchase, purchase and post-purchase.
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