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    Center Store Revitalization Will Enable Industry Growth, Says GMA

    WASHINGTON -- The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) today completed the first phase of its initiative to revitalize center store performance.

    WASHINGTON -- The Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) today completed the first phase of its initiative to revitalize center store performance.

    The project, which began late last year, focuses on the need for continuous collaboration between manufacturers and retailers to better anticipate consumer demands and to maximize retail sales.

    "In today's market, consumer trends go from 'unheard of' to 'global phenomenon' almost overnight, and the swiftness with which consumers exercise their will in the marketplace presents a challenge for manufacturers and retailers alike," said Stephen Sibert, GMA v.p., industry development and membership. "Moreover, enabling growth for retailers and manufacturers requires that we find innovative ways to enhance center store value for consumers."

    Recognizing the importance of meeting consumer demand more efficiently and profitably, the sales committee initiated the center store revitalization project in July 2004. GMA selected global services and consulting firm Accenture, a GMA associate member company, to lead the project.

    Accenture, partnering with research specialists at ACNielsen, designed a two-phase project with the goal of producing solutions that will allow CPG companies to monitor and adjust to ever-changing consumer preferences. Completing the first phase of the project this month, Accenture has identified the target customers and analyzed their buying behavior and corresponding business performance.

    In the second phase, GMA and Accenture will work with select manufacturers and retailers to build and test a center store marketing pilot program designed to enhance the consumer shopping experience and increase business productivity. Phase two results will be unveiled at the GMA Executive Conference in June. "It is clear that there are new opportunities to make the center store more valuable to, and useful for, consumers," added Sibert. "Once completed, the results of this project will give manufacturers and retailers the best tools to do so."

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