NACDS Successful Selling hosts nearly 200 vendors

LINCOLNSHIRE, Ill. New and emerging consumer packaged goods companies and brokers and sales and marketing executives battled the frigid Chicago weather to attend the NACDS Successful Selling & Walgreens New Vendor Days event held here this week.

The sold out event attracted just over 400 people, including nearly 200 vendors, more than 60 brokers and sales and marketing companies and about 40 Walgreens executives. The program, held at the Lincolnshire Marriott, officially kicked off Monday morning with an “Industry Overview” by Jay Forbes, vice president of Lebhar-Friedman, the parent company of Drug Store News. It concludes Tuesday.

The program was provided as a service of the NACDS Advisory Board through the Outreach and Business Development subcommittee to emerging niche manufacturers and others interested in entering or gaining additional traction at food, drug and mass.

Forbes’ presentation was followed by a robust lineup of speakers, many from Walgreens headquarter office, who shared unique business practices and the expectations of Walgreens as niche players work to bring their products to market.

“I think it is a very valuable industry service. We want to brand NACDS as a resource for learning how to bring product to market and want to take it to the next level,” Fitz Elder, NACDS chief member relations officer, told Drug Store News.

NACDS held its first such event, then dubbed Successful Selling to Drug, Food and Mass Retailing, last March in Chicago.

This year’s event afforded new and emerging companies with 20 minute meetings with Walgreens executives. It also enabled brokers and vendors to meet.

To help niche players gear up for their meetings with Walgreens executives and learn how to successfully bring their new products to market, the event featured a lineup of speakers. Among the highlights was a presentation by David Van Howe, corporate vice president of purchasing for Walgreens, who offered “The Retail Perspective.” Catherine Lindner, divisional vice president of marketing development of Walgreens, and Carrie Merritt, consumer marketing manager of Walgreens, discussed “Building Consumer Awareness and Consumption—Getting it Rung at the Register, The Role of Advertising and Promotion.”