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    LIVE FROM NGA: Independent Impact

    New study drives home grocery's economic prowess

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ

    Follow me on Twitter @jimdudlicek


    The 2014 NGA Show opened Sunday in Las Vegas with record-breaking attendance and a new way to clearly show the nation's decision-makers how much economic power the grocery industry wields.

    NGA CEO Peter Larkin (pictured below) outlined the results of the association's Economic Impact Advisory Group during the show's opening session at the Mirage Hotel and Casino, noting its "incredibly impressive results." Larkin treated the audience to a video that ticked off the study's high points in brief:

    - 21,000 privately owned grocers

    - $131 billion in annual sales

    - 25 percent of total grocery sales

    - 1 percent of the U.S. economy

    - 944,200 jobs

    - $30 billion in wages

    That doesn't include the economic halo that independent grocers radiate to its suppliers and throughout the communities in which they operate, which accounts for thousands more jobs and billions of dollars more in commerce.

    Cutting-edge delivery

    Rather than issue a written report of the study's results, Larkin noted that all findings are accessible online, where an interactive map allows visitors to find out the independent grocer's impact on local economies by state and respective local and federal legislative district. That makes it easy for grocers to show lawmakers making business policy exactly how much bacon the grocery industry brings home, through food sales, employment, community outreach and myriad other peripheral ways.

    The NGA Show continues through Tuesday with sessions focused on all aspects of the grocery business. For more on-floor coverage, watch Progressivegrocer.com and PG editors on Twitter: @pgrocer, @jimdudlicek and @indygrocer.

    By Jim Dudlicek, EnsembleIQ
    • About Jim Dudlicek As editorial director of Progressive Grocer, Jim Dudlicek oversees daily operations of the magazine, spearheads its signature features, produces PG’s monthly Trend Alert newsletter on center store issues, moderates its regular webcast series, and writes and comments about a wide range of grocery issues. A food industry journalist since 2002, Jim came to PG in June 2010 after covering the dairy industry for 7½ years, during which time he served as chief editor of Dairy Field and Dairy Foods magazines. A graduate of Marquette University, Jim is fascinated by how truly progressive grocers inspire consumers to enjoy food, transforming the industry from mere merchants into educators that can take the most basic of all necessities and turn it into something profound and life-enhancing. Follow him at www.twitter.com/JimDudlicek

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