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Technology and supply chain automation are two key components of PLMA’s new Innovation Hall, a “show-within-a-show” at the association’s upcoming annual trade to be held at the Rosemont Convention Center Nov. 15 to Nov. 17 in Chicago.
“The Innovation Hall represents the next logical step in the evolution of store brands,” says Brian Sharoff, president of PLMA. “Over the past decade, store brands have expanded to annual sales of $80 billion. This has been driven by remarkable gains in product quality and assortment. But as business gets larger, more complex and demanding, there is a strategic need by both retailers and manufacturers for more than just products.”
The new exhibition space will feature an array of companies that offer innovative products and services for private label that go beyond product development. PLMA’s Innovation Hall will concentrate on services and ideas that are necessary for growth to continue:
--Laboratory testing and certification to ensure product quality, consistency and safety.
--Market research, marketing services, business consulting to manage store brands as brands.
--Software and technology that can be applied in all aspects of sales, marketing and supply chain operations.
--Packaging design and graphics to reflect the greater importance of premium products and expansion into new categories.
--Logistics and supply chain to guarantee superior service and greater efficiency.
--International sourcing to give retailers and manufacturers access to the global marketplace.
--Manufacturing equipment to increase the capability of suppliers to produce new products quickly and achieve higher volumes.
--Financial services to allow retailers to offer their customers financial services that round out the shopping experience.
“If store brands are going to sustain their success in the decade ahead, retailers and manufacturers will have to commit themselves to innovation in products and services,” added Sharoff.
In addition to company exhibits, there will be demonstrations and classes open to all trade show attendees. The Innovation Hall will also open the day before the regular show floor starts so that exhibitors and visitors alike can participate.
The New York-based Private Label Manufacturers Association represents more than 3,000 companies around the world and offers trade shows, programs and services for its members and retailers.