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    Summit to Help Retailers Improve Service to Latinos

    NEW YORK -- Featuring workshops and roundtable sessions to foster knowledge-sharing among attendees and an emphasis on best practices, the second annual Hispanic Retail 360 Summit promises to be the premier educational event for retailers looking to maximize their business with the growing Latino consumer market in the U.S., said organizers at the Retail Group of VNU Business Media.

    NEW YORK -- Featuring workshops and roundtable sessions to foster knowledge-sharing among attendees and an emphasis on best practices, the second annual Hispanic Retail 360 Summit promises to be the premier educational event for retailers looking to maximize their business with the growing Latino consumer market in the U.S., said organizers at the Retail Group of VNU Business Media.

    The Hispanic/Latino population is the fastest growing minority group in the U.S., and this group is projected to grow even more by the year 2020 -- outpacing any other demographic group. In addition, Hispanics' purchasing power is expected to grow from around 8.5 percent of the total U.S. spending to 11 percent by the year 2010.

    The conference is scheduled for August 2-4 in Chicago at the Chicago Sheraton & Towers. It will be produced by VNU Business Media, parent of Progressive Grocer.

    This year's featured speakers include:
    Valeria Piaggio, Senior Director, Consumer Strategist, Latino, iconoculture, who will provide best case examples of bilingual signage and displays, authenticity in merchandising, effective pricing strategies, and how to connect with the hearts and minds of Latino shoppers.
    Terry Soto, President, About Marketing Solutions, who will review the internal operations behind a successful Hispanic program, including supply chain and technology needs, analyzed with real case studies from both grocery and non-grocery retailers.
    Phil Lempert, The Supermarket Guru, who will conduct a live on-site focus group of Latino shoppers from different backgrounds and acculturation levels.

    Industry panelists include representatives from retailers and distributors, including SuperValu, El Burrito Mercado, JAX Markets, Minyards, ExxonMobil, DPI, La Preferida and Tree of Life.

    In addition, this year's Summit includes more product areas and topics of interest to all retail channels, including department stores, mass merchandisers, supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores and specialty retailers.
    Other feature presentations from leading experts and information providers on this complex, but fast-growing market include:
    -- Hispanic Store Tour -- Expert-guided tour of Chicagoland's top retailers that service Latinos.
    -- 360-Degree View of the Hispanic Consumer -- Integrated insights from VNU's stable of research firms, including ACNielsen, Spectra, Claritas and more.
    -- Distributor Roundtable -- Ethnic specialists discuss new product launches, perishables, segregated sections, and educational support for retail.
    -- Retailer Roundtable -- Grocers, convenience stores, and department stores discuss examples of successful strategies.
    -- Evaluating ROI -- The impact of Hispanic program investment on shareholder value growth.
    -- Habits & Lifestyles -- How Hispanic social trends affect packaging, store environments, merchandising & in-store communications.
    -- Building Your Online Retailing Strategy -- What retailers need to do to successfully sell products to online Latinos.
    -- Turn Your Hispanic Plans Into Action at the Store -- Ensure that supplier and retailer programs are executed correctly.
    -- De-Mystifying the Hispanic Consumers' Shopping List -- ACNielsen and Spectra walk you through hot product trends and highlight where your focus needs to be in different categories and brands.
    -- Latino Nutrition -- Retailer strategies to impact Latino diets
    -- Consumers Speak! -- Latino consumers tell it like it is -- their shopping and product preferences, and what they like and don't like about U.S. retailers.
    -- Best Hispanic TV Spots -- Award-winning marketing to Latinos, presented by Marketing y Medios magazine.

    The 2005 Hispanic Retail 360 drew more than 370 retailers and industry suppliers. Approximately 23 percent of attendees were from grocery chains and 18 percent were from convenience/mass/drug/department store chains. Attendee job functions ranged from category managers and buyers to marketing executives and senior level executives.

    The conference topics are based on feedback from a 26-member retailer advisory board consisting of leaders in the grocery, mass, drug, dollar, and convenience store channels. Advisory board members include representatives from Food City, Food Lion, H.E. Butt Grocery, Meijer, Giant Eagle, HyVee, Minyards, Pathmark, ShopRite, Super S Foods, SuperValu, and Wal-Mart.

    The Summit offers face-to-face interaction between retailers and suppliers via an intimate pre-conference reception for major sponsors and retailer invitees, select private meetings with participating retailers and a robust product showcase exhibition room.

    Platinum, Gold, Silver, Tabletop, Meal/Party, and bus tour sponsorships are available for firms that want to create new client relationships, generate sales leads, position themselves as a though leader, strengthen relationships with existing clients, build brand awareness and gain an edge over their competition in this fast-growing market.

    For sponsorship & product showcase opportunities, contact Jeff Friedman at 646-654-7452 ([email protected]) or Drucie DeVries at 646-654-7453 ([email protected]).

    2006 sponsors include Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Energizer, Hershey, Snippies, the National Grocers Association, and the General Merchandise Distributors Council.

    Attendees can register for the conference at http://www.hispanicretail360.com. For more information, please contact Don Longo, director, editorial and content development, Retail Group, VNU Business Media, at 646-654-7489, or [email protected].

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