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    Hispanic Retail 360 Conference Nears Sell-Out

    Inaugural event will join more than 140 retail executives with 200 suppliers, distributors and service companies targeting the Hispanic consumer.

    NEW YORK -- More than 140 executives representing retailers from across the grocery, convenience store, mass, department store and drug store industries will gather in Dallas later this month for the inaugural Hispanic Retail 360 Conference & Product Showcase, produced by the Retail Group of VNU Business Media and VNU Expositions.

    Joining the retailers will be some 200 consumer product manufacturers, ethnic food suppliers and distributors, and service companies targeting the Hispanic consumer.

    Registered retailers include such major chains as Albertsons, Circle K, 7-Eleven, CVS, Rite Aid, Dollar General and Wal-Mart, and regional chains, including HEB, Minyards, Super S Foods, and Food Lion.

    Total registration for the conference, which will be held at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel on Sept. 26 and 27, is expected to sell out, according to Jeff Friedman, VNU Business Media vice president, so interested attendees are urged to sign up as quickly as possible at www.hispanicretail360.com.

    Hispanic Retail 360 is the only conference designed to help retailers target, segment and execute merchandising and marketing plans effectively to Latino shoppers. The conference features integrated data and insights from VNU's world-leading information companies -- ACNielsen, Spectra, Claritas, Scarborough and Nielsen Media Research -- and presentations from leading market experts on such topics as consumer behavior, execution, merchandising assortment and product sourcing.

    In addition, the Hispanic Retail 360 Product Showcase area will provide an intimate setting for suppliers to conduct tabletop meetings with retailers in an area adjacent to the conference room. The Hispanic Retail 360 Product Showcase area will feature many of the leading providers of products and services for retailers targeting the Hispanic consumer market. Access to the Product Showcase area will be available only to conference registrants.

    A highlight of the event will be the presentation of the first Hispanic Retail Excellence Award to Mike Provenzano, president of Pro & Son's Ranch Market. Provenzano and his management team operate five stores in southern California and California's Central Valley, and four in Phoenix, Arizona. Ranch Markets is one of the fastest growing Hispanic market chains in the country.

    The award will be presented during the Monday evening cocktail reception, from 5 PM to 7 PM, which tops off the first day of the conference. The award is based on input from leading experts in Hispanic retailing, including members of conference's 20-company Retailer Advisory Board. It is designed to recognize leadership among retailers targeting the growing Latino population. The Advisory Board, representing retailers with more than 50,000 stores and more than $200 billion in annual revenue, also heavily influenced the content of the conference program. The board includes retailers from across all channels of retailing. The full list of advisory board members and updated agenda may be viewed online at www.hispanicretail360.com.

    The latest addition to the agenda is Carlos Fuentes, director of multicultural marketing for Vertis, a top provider of targeted advertising, media and marketing services. Fuentes will lead an interactive session about the financial aspirations and fears of the Hispanic population; how to avoid products, services and marketing techniques that can be perceived as predatory and exploitative; and how to target the many sub-segments within the Hispanic community.

    Also on tap is the presentation of the results of a new research study conducted by the GMDC (General Merchandise Distributors Council), which offers tactical recommendations to retailers on implementing Hispanic merchandising and marketing programs based on ACNielsen research and interviews and visits to leading retailers addressing Hispanic marketing, including Vallarta, Food City, United, Pathmark, Pueblo and more. The study also takes a look at key top brands in categories most important to Latino consumers.

    In addition, Santiago Blanco, Hispanic marketing director for Coca-Cola, will be addressing the implementation of Hispanic consumer programs at the store level and Laura Martinez, editor of Marketing y Medios, the English-language monthly magazine for Hispanic ad agencies, will lead a panel entitled, “Lessons from the Field: Avoiding the Pitfalls in Hispanic Retailing.”

    Other sessions include:

    * Proven Practices to Success in the Hispanic Market: Leveraging Your Retail Environment to Reach the Hispanic Consumer, by Jim Perkins, President, ULATAM Retail Solutions Group.

    * Building Your Bottom Line: An Integrated Approach to Ethnic & Mainstream Merchandising, by Terry Soto, President and CEO, About Marketing Solutions, Inc.

    * How Hispanic Consumers Shop: Purchasing Behavior of Key Hispanic Consumer Segments, by Steve Kent, Senior VP, Retail Client Services, Spectra.

    * Vision 2020: Integrating Multicultural Merchandising & Marketing Into the Fundamental DNA of Your Organization, by Rhonda Harper, Founder and CEO
    RTM&J - Real Truth Marketing & Joy.

    Complete information and online registration is available for both the conference and the exhibition area, which is being held at the Wyndham Anatole Hotel. Go to www.hispanicretail360.com.

    Charter sponsors for the conference and expo include Coca-Cola, Anheuser-Busch, Tree of Life, Vertis, Energizer, MBR Industries, Procter & Gamble, Gallo and Gatorade. For more information on exhibiting or becoming a sponsor, contact Jeff Friedman at 646-654-7452, or email: [email protected].

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