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This year's IGA Global Rally and NGA Show, which were co-located in Las Vegas earlier this month, demonstrated just how much innovation is happening among the independent grocer sector of the food retail industry.
Indeed, it's as if new life was breathed into the industry, and the retailers at the shows were restless with new energy from which new ideas and strategies were being developed, and the NGA Expo -- sold out yet again -- was filled with vendors eager to help bring these ideas to fruition. These ideas were also evident in the educational sessions I and my colleagues attended while in Vegas, as well as in the conversations we had with attendees during the many networking events.
For this reason, I'm dedicating the bulk of this newsletter to recapping the various events and educational workshops held during my week in Vegas. This will include a round-up of our "Live From NGA" stories, so those of you who couldn't attend the event can get a taste of what you missed. We'll also have some IGA and NGA updates that occured shortly after the show.
You'll also notice some new coverage that will be featured in the print pages of Progressive Grocer Independent's coverage in the coming months, including:
More regional coverage: We'll be visiting more events held by regional and state associations and reporting on these events -- as well as select wholesaler events.
Asparagus Club Updates: This is a valuable association that's been serving the industry even longer than Progressive Grocer (and we're 93 years old!). It helps provide scholarships for college students seeking to enter the industry, so we'll be spreading the word about the group's achievements throughout the year.
A new CART technology section: This section will feature case studies of initiatives undertaken by the Center for Advancing Retail and Technology. For those of you not familiar with CART, it is a group that works closely with technology partners and NGA member-retailers to pilot new and emerging technologies as well as test various initiatives of CPG companies with the overall goal of enhancing the competitiveness of independent grocers. PGI will feature a case study focusing on one of these retailer initiatives every month beginning with our April issue.
In addition, we will continue to have our regular cover profiles, columns from IGA, FMI and NGA executives as well as other industry experts.
Our April issue will also have extensive coverage of educational workshops from the show, including a gallery from PGI's Outstanding Independent Award reception, held during the NGA Show, and a gallery of photos from the various networking events from both the IGA and NGA events.
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