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    Hispanic Retail Conference To Hit Chicago in 2006

    Second annual meeting will feature new workshops and working roundtable sessions.

    CHICAGO -- The second annual Hispanic Retail 360 Summit, the retail industry’s only conference, workshop and product showcase designed to help companies maximize their business to the growing Latino consumer market in the United States, will be held Aug. 2-4, 2006, at the Sheraton Hotel and Towers in downtown Chicago.

    Hispanic Retail 360 was formed based on the knowledge that the Hispanic/Latino population is the fastest-growing minority group in the United States with a purchasing power of about 8.5 percent of the total U.S. population -- reaching 11 percent by the year 2010. The conference held its first event in September 2005 in Dallas and attracted more than 400 attendees composed of retailers from across all channels and major consumer packaged goods manufacturers.

    The 2006 theme is "Taking Hispanic Retailing to the Next Level" and will feature new workshops and working roundtable sessions to foster knowledge-sharing among attendees with concurrent sessions that allow attendees to pick and choose the topics that are most important to them. There will be an emphasis on best practices and new ideas to help retailers become skilled at serving the needs of the growing Latino population and more product areas from food to general merchandise with topics of interest to all retail channels including department stores, mass merchandisers, supermarkets, convenience stores, drug stores and specialty retailers.

    "Food retailers that have not taken into consideration this important ethnic group will miss out on future total store sales and profitability by not reflecting the communities they serve," said Mirna Evans, category manager of Food Lion, which operates more than 1,200 grocery stores in 11 Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states. "We (Hispanics) are unique individuals with strong cultural backgrounds who truly appreciate the enjoyment of foods with our families, often making it the center of our lives."

    "I am looking forward to next year’s Hispanic Retail 360 Summit to learn about what other retailers have done, which programs have worked or not and why," Evans said. "At last year’s conference, I valued the interaction with the various vendors represented in the conference; the stage was conducive to have very productive meetings during the conference."

    Hispanic Retail 360 Summit is still the only cross-channel event that combines the power of VNU’s information companies -- including ACNielsen, Spectra, Claritas, Scarborough and Nielsen Media Research -- with its retail publications, including Convenience Store News.

    Like last year, the agenda will be shaped by the Hispanic Retail 360 Retailer Advisory Board consisting of market leaders across all channels of retailing -- including convenience stores, supermarkets, drugstores, mass retailers, department stores and dollar stores. The retailer board of advisors includes convenience store executives from 7-Eleven, BP/ampm, Chevron Corp., ExxonMobil and Shell Oil.

    The Summit also 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.

    One of the highlights of the Summit will be the presentation of the Hispanic Retail Excellence Award. Last year’s winner was Pros Ranch Market, which operates five Hispanic market stores in southern California and four in Phoenix, Ariz.

    Sponsorship packages, which include attending a pre-conference VIP reception with the retailer board of advisors, taking part in an appropriate session or panel, and showcasing Hispanic-market products, are currently available. For more information on sponsorships, please contact Jeff Friedman, vice president, channel information & solutions, Retail Channels Group, at (646)654-7452, or email: [email protected].

    Attendees can register for the conference at 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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