GMDC Named as Association Affiliate of the Retail Analytics Council

GMDC President & CEO Patrick Spear engages with select group of global brand experts disrupting the customer experience with artificial intelligence


COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Leading retail industry trade association Global Market Development Center (GMDC) has announced that President & CEO Patrick Spear has accepted an invitation on behalf of GMDC to become an Association Affiliate of the Retail Analytics Council (RAC) and will represent GMDC for all RAC-related activities.

The RAC — a global initiative between the Medill School’s Integrated Marketing Communications Department, Northwestern University and the Platt Retail Institute — is regarded as the leading organization focused on the study of consumer shopping behavior across retail platforms and the impact of new technologies. The RAC enhances collaboration among industry leaders and academia to study and advance the integration of technology and within retail in order to lead industry innovation.

“It’s an honor for GMDC to be an Association Affiliate for the Retail Analytics Council,” said Spear. “This is a significant opportunity for GMDC to connect its members with RAC data and analytics in an effort to better prepare them for the future of retail, which involves robotics, automation and artificial intelligence. My involvement with RAC perfectly aligns with the core of GMDC’s Retail Tomorrow initiative by bringing together industry, education and innovation in order to meet the changing consumer needs.”

As an Association Affiliate, GMDC, through Spear, will contribute industry expertise to enhance RAC initiatives involving executive education programs, professional workshops and training, industry research and more. In turn, Spear’s involvement will benefit GMDC members through RAC’s cutting-edge focus on the alignment of technology with the future of retail.

“As a result of GMDC’s affiliate status with the Retail Analytics Council, Patrick will be providing leading-edge robotics and AI information to GMDC members, both educating them about existing technologies and exposing them to what’s on the horizon,” said Steven Keith Platt, director and research fellow for Platt Retail Institute and research director of the RAC.

Recognizing the importance that robotics plays in the future of retail, GMDC and Retail Tomorrow continue to inspire retailers to rethink the shopper experience through cutting-edge, consumer-facing technology.  In support of this objective, Spear will be in attendance along with several of GMDC’s retail members at RAC’s second annual Retail Robotics and AI Conference in Evanston, Ill., on April 11–12, 2019. The conference will focus on implementing and executing retail AI strategies, explore emerging trends in retail robotics and host a Robots in Retail Competition that introduces retail solutions. Presentations by leading academics and retailers will include Intelligent Automation, Current Retail Robot Applications and Benefits, and Future Retail Robot Applications, among others.

About GMDC

Global Market Development Center (GMDC) connects people and companies to opportunities for growth through events, networking and insights that inspire innovation. For nearly 50 years, GMDC has been the leading nonprofit trade association fostering discovery, continuous learning and uncommon partnerships focused on enhancing the shopper experience. Today it represents more than 125,000 retail outlets. For more information, visit

About RAC

The mission of the Retail Analytics Council (RAC) is the study of consumer behavior across shopping platforms to provide an understanding of how these impact retailers, particularly as new technologies are introduced. The RAC unites industry, faculty, students and its Advisory Board members for the study of and exchange of ideas. The RAC is a global initiative between the Medill School’s Integrated Marketing Communications Department, Northwestern University and the Platt Retail Institute. To learn more, visit