Dallas, February 5 – GC Buying Group held the 21st annual GCX: Start the Year Member Conference at Atlanta Market on January 16 and 17. Ninety-seven vendors and 140 buyers assembled for two days of informative education and a dynamic vendor showcase & expo. “Store and vendor energy was all abuzz in Atlanta with an exceedingly positive vibe,” confirmed Janis Johnson, president, and founder of Gourmet Catalog/GC Buying Group. “Equal engagement was experienced by all store and vendor members during the product previews, learning, and networking,” Johnson continued.
The education day featured a well-received presentation by longtime GC ally Bob Negen from WhizBang! Retail Training, enlightening store members about ways to stay “Mighty on Main Street”. 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 100 tables filled with vendors’ products revealed exciting new items for preview, along with many tried and true best sellers.
Tuesday evening’s exclusive GC cocktail buffet was held in the Fashion Theatre, beautifully decorated with fresh flowers and a special GCX ice sculpture personally created by the AndMore chef. Store and vendor members mingled in a social setting, enjoying hors d ‘oeuvres, hot chef-prepared entrees, drinks, and all-important networking. The 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 more than I expected, and we are grateful for what GC does for the industry.” A longtime GC retail member enthused, “This event was fantastic. GC outdid themselves!” Industry reps were included in the GC event, prompting one appreciative rep 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 Thursday morning, the GC Vendor Forum provided a small format for addressing specific matters of mutual interest. Attended by the GC team, Vendors, and GC Advisory Board Members, the group discussed business and market opportunities for vendors and independent retailers.
“As GC proudly celebrates our 43rd year of serving independent retailers, we continue to streamline processes that build better relationships and strengthen the bridge between GC stores and vendors. These efficiencies helped make the 2024 GC Member conference a resounding success,” concluded Johnson.
About GC Buying Group:
GC Buying Group Members form the original and leading buying group in the kitchenwares industry. Celebrating 43 years in 2024, 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 vendor members. For more information on Gourmet Catalog/GC Buying Group, call: +1-214-855-0005, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or visit: gcbuyinggroup.com.