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    Royal Buying Group Expo Educates Independents

    The organization's daylong conference provides strategies on tobacco, foodservice and offsetting cost increases.

    BURR RIDGE, Ill. -- Royal Buying Group Inc.'s (RBG) Independent C-store Expo is being held at the Chicago Burr Ridge Marriott Hotel today, featuring three educational sessions, a trade show and a special guest appearance, the company stated.

    Educational seminars begin at 1 p.m., with a 45-minute session called "Maximizing your Tobacco Category in 2008." Lou Maiellano of TAZ Marketing is discussing the current state and future of tobacco, as well as strategies retailers can use to develop strong category management.

    Following that session, Dean Dirks of Dirks & Associates is speaking at a session titled "Which Foodservice Option Fits Your Location." There, independent operators learn different foodservice levels and how to maximize and analyze store locations to grow the category.

    Lastly, a session titled "Reduce your Operation Costs in 2008" features David Bishop of Willard Bishop, who is speaking on the opportunities to offset lost profits from fuel margins and credit card fees through retail programs offered by manufacturers.

    Additionally, the Expo's trade show opens at 3:30 p.m. and ends at 8 p.m. today.

    A special guest to the Expo is Dan Hampton, Pro Football Hall of Famer and member of the 1985 Super Bowl Champions, the Chicago Bears, according to the company. His 12 years with the Chicago Bears saw challenges with 12 knee operations. Most recently, Hampton is a Bears radio analyst and will appear at the Expo to greet attendees and sign autographs, the company stated.

    RBG's Supplier and Member awards are also presented at the show, along with the announcement of the winners of the sixth annual Royal Buying Group Scholarship Program, which presents two scholarships to members or members' children attending or enrolling at an accredited secondary educational institution, the company stated.

    "The reception has proven to be an excellent format for introducing the New Year's programs to our members and convey the benefits to prospective members," Angela Angelilli, RBG's director of sales, said in a statement. "Members and vendors alike have enjoyed the informal atmosphere, exchanging of business ideas and camaraderie between all involved in past years. This year's event is shaping up to be even bigger and better than ever."

    For information about the Expo, visit www.i-c-expo.com.

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