Global Market Development Center/Retail Tomorrow Announces 2019 General Merchandise Conference Lineup

Annual showcase, networking and fundraising event will attract hundreds of nonfood retail industry decision-makers to the Mile High City June 13-17


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo.  — Leading retail industry trade association Global Market Development Center (GMDC)/Retail Tomorrow will host its 2019 General Merchandise Conference from June 13-17, 2019, at the Gaylord Rockies Resort & Convention Center in Denver.

The annual event brings together more than 150 nonfood retail and 400 supplier executives from across North America to talk shop, test new products and services and take away insights from thought leaders that will affect consumers today and tomorrow. New member registration for the event ends Monday, May 20.

“As the only event of its kind, our General Merchandise Conference is where industry executives go to find out what’s next in retail,” said Patrick Spear, president & CEO of GMDC/Retail Tomorrow. “We bring together stakeholders from the marketplace and give them an exclusive preview of the latest products, services and shopper insights that will help grow their businesses, strengthen consumer relationships and distinguish them from their competitors. General Merchandise has some of the highest profit margins in the retail industry and our members need to know how and where to strategically place items to maximize revenue.”

The conference encompasses three networking events, two insights sessions, a product showcase, the release of GMDC/Retail Tomorrow and A.T. Kearney’s highly anticipated 2019 General Merchandise Benchmarking Report, a fundraiser for a local charity and more. Key conference features include:

  • Share of Spend Insights & 2019 GMDC/Retail Tomorrow and ATK General Merchandise Benchmarking Report Launch: On Friday, June 14, Keith Anderson, senior vice president of strategy and insights for e-commerce at Profitero, will host a panel discussion on how retailers can regain customer loyalty. On Saturday, June 15, Jason Maehara, insights manager at A.T. Kearney, will present findings from GMDC/Retail Tomorrow and A.T. Kearney’s General Merchandise Benchmarking Report. The 2019 benchmarking report will reveal how key nonfood categories inside food, drug and mass (FDM) retail channels can remain relevant and will provide a how-to playbook for sparking growth.
  • Business-to-Business Networking Events: Nonfood retail buyers and suppliers will have three opportunities to network face-to-face. Connect Collaborate Create (CCC) meetings give retail buyers 10-20 minutes to meet with suppliers. Strategic Executive Connection (SEC) meetings will match retail suppliers with retail buyers for 30-minute long-range planning discussions. Market On-Ramp (MOR) meetings will allow new GMDC/Retail Tomorrow members to present their products and establish business relationships with some of the country’s largest retailers and wholesalers. To participate in CCC, SEC or MOR networking events, returning members must register by Friday, May 10.
  • Product Showcase: GMDC/Retail Tomorrow will host a product showcase where attendees can browse more than 260 new product displays and merchandising concepts. Each retail executive will have the opportunity to review and evaluate products in the “Store of the Future” and vote for the top 10 most innovative. Additionally, they will be able to engage with new tech companies that are changing how consumers personally engage with their favorite stores. This year’s showcase will feature products from automotive, baby, greeting card, cell phone accessory, hardware, houseware, kitchenware, outdoor, pet, school, office, seasonal, sporting good, and toy categories. To participate in the Product Showcase, members must register by Friday, May 10.

“There’s a reason why the world’s largest retailers come to us for advice on how to achieve their goals,” Spear continued. “It’s because we know how to navigate the disrupted retail industry better than anyone else and we’re working hard to create an environment where our members can find the resources they need to stay relevant and grow.”

Suppliers concur. “GMDC/Retail Tomorrow is our most trusted trade association and path to market to meet the right retailers and wholesalers. That’s what has kept us coming back for so many years,” said Scott Bradshaw, senior vice president of sales for Bradshaw Home.

For more information about the 2019 General Merchandise Conference, please visit