Dallas, February 6 – GC Buying Group Members held the 20th annual Start the Year Member Conference at Atlanta Market on January 11 and 12. Eighty-seven vendors and 180 buyers assembled for two days of informative education and a dynamic vendor showcase & expo. “Store and vendor energy was at a pre-pandemic high at the Atlanta events with an overwhelmingly positive vibe,” confirmed Janis Johnson, president and founder of Gourmet Catalog/GC Buying Group. “From education to product previews, all store and vendor members were equally engaged in learning, networking and becoming reacquainted with the missing buzz and excitement of market,” Johnson continued
The education day featured a well-received presentation by speaker and industry expert, Warren Shoulberg. The engaging subject “Back to the Future 2023” was right on target for doing business amid economic changes in 2023. Plus, special vendor presentations brought buyers up to date on new products and programs; and stores enjoyed open mic conversations on select topics throughout the day.
The Vendor Showcase & Expo established top-to-top engagement among members, allowing retail buyers to interface with top-tier vendor leadership. Over 85 tables filled with vendors’ products, including many tried and true best sellers, revealed exciting new items for preview.
Wednesday evening’s exclusive GC cocktail buffet was held in the GCX Education Room. Store and vendor members mingled in a social setting while enjoying hors d ‘oeuvres, drinks, and networking. The filled-to-capacity space hummed with excitement as lively conversations infused genuine camaraderie into the packed room.
The showcase experience was summed up by a top GC vendor who remarked, “Thank you for hosting a wonderful Showcase! It was a great pleasure to get out in front of our GC Partners again.” A longtime GC retail member enthused, “The energy in the room was so good!” Industry reps were included in the GC event, prompting one appreciative attendee to express gratitude, by saying, “Thank you again for having me at the GC showcase, what a success! We had many vendors there as well as customers. Quite impressive.”
As a follow up to the event, on Friday morning, the GC Vendor Forum provided a small format for addressing specific matters of interest. Attended by the GC team, vendor members, the GC Advisory Board, and leaders of the IMC, the group discussed business and market opportunities for vendors and independent retailers.
“The GC Member Conference was a resounding success, and GC is proud to celebrate our 42nd year of serving independent retailers as we connect buyers in the best ways with vendors in the industry,” concluded Johnson.
About GC Buying Group:
GC Buying Group Members form the original and leading buying group in the kitchenwares industry. Celebrating 42 years in 2023, GC functions to ensure the success of independent retailers with a variety of programs and services, including discounts provided for our 300+ store members by 150 vendor members. For more information on Gourmet Catalog, call: +1-214-855-0005, email: email@example.com or visit: gcbuyinggroup.com.
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