2021 Education Tracks

Tech innovations driving retail today and in the future.

Management and leadership strategies to position the organization for sustained growth.

Creative marketing and merchandising ideas for evolving fresh and perimeter departments.

Best in class in-store execution strategies to meet competitive challenges.

Creatively reaching and connecting with shoppers through a variety of media.

Best practices for getting product to shoppers via home delivery or store pickup.

Increasing traffic and sales in key departments in the store.

Learn more about NGA 2021's Education Tracks

People Development

People Development

Creative Recruiting – Lessons Learned From the Pandemic          

The coronavirus pandemic placed unprecedented pressure on store personnel and retailers turned to new and unusual sources to keep stores fully staffed. From a panel of independent retailers, we’ll hear more about the variety of sources used to find front-line associates.  Take away new ideas for finding cashiers, clerks and other store associates.
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Cristy Hess, Director of HR, Busch's, Inc.
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Carol Hawkins, HR/ Labor Relations Director, Rosauers Supermarkets 
Fresh Foods

Fresh Foods

Fresh Produce Consumer Trends     

How is the produce shopper juggling fewer trips to the store with an increase in meals at home?  We’ll look at how sales are shifting in the produce department and strategies retailers are using to adapt to changing consumer trends and preferences along with food safety and supply chain challenges.
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Bob Rybick, President and CEO, Geissler’s Supermarkets, Inc.
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Price Mabry, Director of Produce and Floral, HAC, Inc.
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Jorge Gonzalez, Vice President, Operations, Leevers Supermarkets, Inc.
Operating For Excellence

Operating For Excellence

Competing with Value Formats     

Hard discounters such as Aldi and Lidl are now considered mainstream retailers in Europe.  We’ll discuss how this evolution has occurred, including enhanced format development, evolving and tailored assortments and entry into ecommerce. Attendees will also learn about the disruption this change has brought to the market and how traditional grocery retailers have responded.    
  • Confirmed Speaker: Stewart Samuel, Program Director, North America, IGD

M&A Outlook for the Food Industry

Although the coronavirus pandemic has strengthened the financial position of many retailers, the grocery industry is not immune to the pressures of today’s economy.  In late 2021 and 2022, we anticipate an acceleration in consolidation among retailers and distributors. Hear how buyers will value opportunities post Covid-19 and how retailers can position themselves for stability in the future.
  • Confirmed Speaker: David Schoeder, Partner, The Food Partners
Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel Marketing

The Future of Advertising:  Print to Digital Shift    

Using enhanced social media presence, digital circulars, eblasts and text communication, many retailers shifted advertising funds from print to digital in 2020.  We’ll review the magnitude of the shift and hear best practices for ensuring a good ROI on digital spending.          
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Julie Anderson, Director of Marketing, Fresh Encounter, Inc.
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Todd Robinson, VP, Marketing, Busch's, Inc.

Using Artificial Intelligence (AI) for Personalized Marketing         

Grocers want higher trip frequency, larger basket sizes, and increased profits. Learn how AI-powered personalization works, and why it is the most profitable way to motivate shoppers to visit more often and buy more in your store.        
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Dennis Host, Vice President, Marketing, Coborn's Inc.
  • Confirmed Speaker:  Ron Cook, Vice President, Director of Marketing, Niemann Foods Inc.
  • Confirmed Speaker:  David Gordon, CEO & Founder, Design House Group



E-Commerce - What Do Consumers Want?

Retailers scrambled to implement e-commerce programs in 2020 to meet consumers’ desires to shop online.  Are those programs meeting customers’ needs?  We’ll review consumer’s preferences relative to e-commerce and discuss ways to ensure your click and collect or home delivery programs are meeting the needs of your shoppers.     
  • Confirmed speaker: Matt Van Gilder, Director, Ecommerce, SpartanNash
  • Confirmed speaker: Ron Bonacci, Vice President of Marketing and Advertising, Weis Markets, Inc.
  • Confirmed speaker/moderator:  Brian Numainville, Principal, The Retail Feedback Group
  • Confirmed speaker/moderator:  Doug Madenburg, Principal, The Retail Feedback Group


Promoting Non-Foods     

Shoppers’ desires to limit store trips gives grocers a new opportunity to increase sales in non-foods categories. Hear how retailers are taking advantage of the ability to add excitement to their stores with new and different product lines, unexpected items and unique products. We’ll review marketing and merchandising strategies to increase traffic in a variety of non-foods categories.         
  • Confirmed Speaker: Steve Corradini, Chief Merchandising and Marketing Officer, Kings Food Markets and Balducci's Food Lover's Market
  • Confirmed Speaker: Neil Stern, Chief Executive Officer, Good Food Holdings, Inc.

15 Ideas for Growing Sales   
In today’s world, the idea that success consists of achieving a long-term sustainable advantage is nearly impossible.  To deliver a unique value to our guests, we need to choose a different set of activities or do the same thing differently.  In this fast-paced session, we’ll share 15 proven sales ideas which taken as part of a portfolio will help to separate you from your competition, grow sales and deliver a unique value to your guests.  Hear how one retailer created a plan to continuously roll out new events and promotions to grow traffic and sales in their stores.     
  • Confirmed Speaker: Nick Lenzi, Vice President, Business Development, Lipari Foods