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    New Convenience Industry Outlook Forum to be Held This Summer

    AWMA and InfoRhythm spearhead advanced look at c-store performance.

    FAIRFAX, Va. -- A new industry conference aimed at providing an analysis of first-half 2012 convenience industry sales and an advanced look at projected convenience store performance for 2013 will be held this summer in Chicago.

    Sponsored by the American Wholesale Marketers Association (AWMA) and InfoRhythm, a Pittsburgh, Pa.-based retail data management and analysis services company, the first-ever AWMA-InfoRhythm C-Metrics Convenience Industry Outlook Forum will be held at the Renaissance Chicago hotel from July 31 through Aug. 1.

    At the conference, top industry experts will present and analyze actual 2012 sales by convenience industry distributors to 28,000 c-stores nationwide and then projected to the full universe of 146,000 stores, providing the most complete and current look at convenience industry business activity for this year, with projections for 2013.

    The InfoMetrics database, developed for AWMA by InfoRhythm, is the single largest database of c-store shipments covering all SKUs except direct-store-delivery (DSD) products and beverages. Currently, 58 distributors with 92 warehouses each week submit their detailed sales data to InfoRhythm, where it is compiled and analyzed.

    "We have created an exciting, forward-looking conference that will use real-time data," said AWMA President Scott Ramminger. "For the first time, suppliers, distributors and invited retailers will have an opportunity to preview current, this year data specific to brands -- information that will be crucial to developing business strategies for success in the coming months and for next year."

    C-Metrics provides:

    • Weekly projected c-store dollar sales and units shipped, and percent of distribution by item, across all categories.
    • Data reflecting c-store sales for warehouse-shipped items, excluding DSD sales.
    • Coverage for warehouse-shipped categories such as tobacco, candy and snacks, reflecting total convenience retail sales of such items.

    "Our distributor partners now have access to information that only a handful of manufacturers could afford until today," said Viv Penninti, InfoRhythm's president and CEO. "Understanding true market opportunity is a prerequisite for sound category management -- and we're proud to make this a reality with the introduction of C-Metrics."

    The keynote speaker at the conference will be Renee Sang, partner and global director, Customer Innovation Network, for Accenture. She will provide a strategic overview of retail trends, and discuss retail innovation and the emerging customer experience. Her perspectives and review of top-line data and trends from C-Metrics data will help convenience supply chain partners identify future opportunities for growth.

    Category-specific sessions and their presenters will be:

    • Cigarettes -- David Bishop, managing partner, Balvor LLC.
    • Other Tobacco Products -- Don Longo, editor-in-chief, Convenience Store News, and editorial director, Stagnito Media.
    • Candy -- Steven Montgomery, president, b2b Solutions.
    • Salty/Alternative Snacks -- Greg Jones, consulting partner, b2b Solutions.

    "Our industry has been asking for current, relevant, real-time data and now with the InfoMetrics and C-Metrics platforms, AWMA and InfoRhythm have partnered to bring it to reality," said Ramminger.

    Those invited to attend this event will be AWMA distributor members, with one retail customer, and manufacturers that supply the convenience industry. For more information regarding cost and registration, please visit www.awmanet.org/event/outlook-forum.

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