History of GMDC
1970: First organizational and charter membership meetings held. Fran Willmes of Spartan Stores was first president. Robert Keats was first executive director. Focus of the Association: wholesalers and distributors of General Merchandise and Health and Beauty products and categories.
1971: First GMDC Marketing Conference was held in Dallas and concept of the Controlled Casual Conference format proposed.
1972: Health and Beauty Aids Supplier Advisory Board formed.
1974: Rick Tilton succeeded Robert Keats as GMDC's executive director.
1976: GMDC's first industry survey unveiled at GM Conference.
1978: GMDC wholesale members initiate Performance Analysis Review (PAR) program so members can benchmark departmental growth.
1979: GMDC headquarters moved from Dayton, Ohio, to Colorado Springs, Colorado.
1981: "HBA Means Business" education program with supplementary material introduced.
1985: "1 Will Get You 5" education program designed to drive incremental general merchandise sales and profits.
1987: GMDC admitted direct-buying supermarket chains to membership.
1992: GMDC Educational Foundation launched. Organization expanded membership to include service merchandisers, non-direct-buying supermarket chains and club stores.
1993: The GMDC Educational Foundation released landmark study on Rx-to-OTC switch products.
1996: The GMDC Educational Foundation introduced its "Seasonal Best Practices: How-to-Manual."
1999: GMDC opens membership to all mass market wholesale and retail channels.
2000: Dave McConnell succeeded Rick Tilton as president and chief executive officer. GMDC introduced CCCnet, a web-based tool suite, designed to maximize the effectiveness of the organization's one-on-one meetings.
2001: GMDC Educational Foundation released "Birthday/Celebration Merchandising Strategies Store Research Report" and "Women's Well-Being Merchandising Strategy" study.
2001: GMDC board decided to pay for airfare and lodging expenses for qualifying wholesale and retail companies starting with 2002 conferences.
2002: Following decision to pay expenses, retailer and wholesaler attendance increased 45% at GM Marketing Conference and 27% at HBC Marketing Conference.
2003: The GMDC Board of Directors amends the Association's bylaws to include the chairman of the three Advisory Boards to serve two-year terms as Directors of the Board.
2004: GMDC introduces the Showcase @ GMDC program at its May GM Marketing Conference. The GMDC Foundation introduces ground breaking "Leveraging the Connection Between Pharmacy and the Whole Store" and "Merchandising for Success" studies.
2005: Retail/wholesale and supplier members pilot new Roundtable Idea Exchange Sessions at the May GM Marketing Conference, and Senior Executive Conferences (SECs) are successfully piloted at the September HBC Marketing Conference. GMDC Educational Foundation released "Multicultural Marketing ... A Plan for Growth in GM and HBC" study.
2006: GMDC Educational Foundation releases "Seasonal Best Practices ... A Plan for Seasonal Merchandising" study.
2007: GMDC re-brands itself as the Global Market Development Center (GMDC) and re-brands its fall marketing conference from the Health and Beauty Care Marketing Conference to the Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference to emphasize the Association's commitment to providing industry leadership in capturing the emerging health and wellness consumer opportunity. The GMDC Educational Foundation is re-branded as the Education Leadership Council, is folded back into GMDC and releases its "Who Cares? Reaching the Family Caregiver" and "Jump Starting Top-Line Growth II" mini-studies. The GMDC Board amends the GMDC bylaws to include the chairman of the Education Leadership Council as a two-year member of the Board of Directors.
2008: GMDC identifies the opportunities within Health and Wellness for members and adds a new senior staff position, Director of Wellness Programs.
2009: GMDC Education Leadership Council releases "Consumer Shopping Habits for Wellness and Environmentally Conscious Lifestyles" research study.
2010: GMDC celebrates its 40th anniversary.
2010: GMDC Education Leadership Council releases "2010 Phase II Research on Consumer Shopping Habits for Wellness and Environmentally Conscious Lifestyles." The report includes updates about the current state of the market, identifies any trends or changes from Phase 1 research conducted in 2009, and highlights new observations identified in 2010.
2011: GMDC presents results from multi-year study on H+W at Health Beauty Wellness Marketing Conference. and announces future date changes for the 2013 marketing Conferences.
2012: GMDC introduces Telepresence at annual Marketing Conferences. GMDC hosted a Business Sessions at the GM Conference followed by a Retailer Panel & Interview Discussion regarding new groundbreaking research that GMDC, Nielsen and Radian released that contains new metrics and insights to help measure and manage the GM category.