2012 NGA Show Enjoys Record Attendance

The National Grocers Association has concluded its 2012 NGA Show in Las Vegas, reaching important milestones and fulfilling its promise as the place to be “where independents gather to discuss real issues with real grocers and forge real solutions.”

The annual four-day event was the largest in the trade association’s history, with more than 2,400 independent grocers, wholesalers and industry partners attending. This year’s NGA Show featured nearly 35,000 square feet of exhibit floor space, a 25 percent increase. More than 200 exhibitors participated in the Expo, a 10 percent increase from the previous year.

The NGA Show also expanded industry partnerships and opportunities for independent grocers to increase collaboration. For the first time, NGA co-located the show with IGA’s Global Rally, created a produce pavilion with the Produce Marketing Association and created a Center for Collaboration with the Grocery Manufacturers of America. These additions, among other NGA Show features were designed to bring greater value to NGA members and attendees.

“Our goal for this year’s show was to strengthen the value proposition for attendees by expanding the trade show and increasing opportunities for more industry collaboration,” said Peter Larkin, NGA president and CEO. “As a result, we experienced record attendance and increased participation, which could not have happened without the support of our sponsors, partners and independent grocers who gave their time and resources to make this show a success.”

The 2012 Show concluded by awarding two industry honors.

The Women Grocers of America named Barbara Thomas, director of training for K-VAT Food Stores Inc./Food City of Grundy, Va., as its 2012 Woman of the Year. This award recognizes an industry woman whose leadership has contributed to the success of her company.

Thomas has been affiliated with the Food City franchise since 1974, when she became a part-time cashier while attending Grundy High School. Company founder Jack Smith personally selected Thomas to head up the company training program in 1979. “Barbara is first and foremost a mentor, not only for her company, but in the community where she works and lives,” Larkin said. “She is an innovator in advancing strong training programs to increase customer service and satisfaction, while also been a life-long leader in her community.”

Also announced were the winners of the annual Food Industry University Coalition Student Case Competition, hosted by the Asparagus Club.

Louisiana State University won first place, winning $8,000 in cash and scholarship prizes. Arizona State University came in second place, winning $1,000.

Seven universities competed in the competition, which provides students attending the NGA Show the opportunity to analyze a real world contemporary retail business challenge. Working in teams, students worked collaboratively to examine, present and then respond to questions posed by a panel of judges. This year’s topic was, “How can independent retailers, wholesalers and co-ops implement mobile coupons to drive sales and profits?”

The National Grocers Association is the national trade association representing the retail and wholesale grocers that comprise the independent sector of the food distribution industry.


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