Retailers discover new products at the popular “Meet the Market” program during the NACDS Total Store Expo.

Leading-edge retailers approach the NACDS Total Store Expo (TSE) creatively and strategically, in ways that enhance team performance and sharpen differentiation in the marketplace.

NACDS has compiled some of the top advice from retailers, which can guide preparations for the 2018 NACDS TSE, to be held August 25-27 in Denver.

  • Savvy senior purchasing managers coach buyers in advance and on-site. Retailers indicate that NACDS TSE presents tremendous development opportunities for staff. Much of this development can take place before the show, by emphasizing the importance of preparation. In addition, many retailers report that improved performance flows from a commitment by senior purchasing managers to observe on-site their buyers’ interactions with new vendors, new items, and existing vendors of different sizes and strategic capabilities. An intentional approach to coaching based on these observations improves performance throughout the conference, and over the long term.
  • Accessibility to buyers is essential for seizing new-product opportunities. Retailers advise that it is critical for a company to know how easy (or difficult) it is for a new vendor to secure an appointment with its buyers. As of the end of May, more than 70 first-time exhibitors will engage in the 2018 NACDS TSE. NACDS has developed the “Meet the Market” program to assist retailers in meeting with these new and innovative companies.
  • Look for opportunities to engage cross-departmental and inter-company teams to better meet consumers’ needs. Total-store collaboration among retailers and suppliers is a hallmark of NACDS TSE, and one opportunity to prime the pump for related conversations will occur at a special Insight Session on the 2018 agenda. Two co-founders of High Street, a Retail Experience Collective, will present “Destination Retailing: Getting the Customer Off Their Couch and Into Your Store.” On Monday, August 27, they will discuss opportunities for category managers to work with suppliers to enhance customer experience. During his first remarks as NACDS Chairman of the Board, Mark Panzer, senior vice president, pharmacy, health and wellness of Albertsons Companies, said: “There are some telling headlines you may have seen, which state that ‘Retail is Not Dead, But Bad Retail Is.’ That pretty much lays it on the line, doesn’t it?” Retailers can take advantage of multiple opportunities at NACDS TSE to turn that dynamic into an advantage.
  • NACDS TSE is the ideal place to expand one’s personal network, which benefit the company. Retailers who are committed to collaboration say that it is a tremendous mistake to leave networking to chance. A retail company’s leadership can help emerging professionals understand the “how-to” of networking by making this vital activity a priority at NACDS TSE. On Monday, August 27, Wendy Liebmann, Founder, CEO and Chief Shopper of WSL Strategic Retail, will moderate a panel of industry leaders that will describe the true value and the effective approaches of networking and of learning from a mentor.