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NEW Chicago looks at future of cpg/retail

Wednesday, May 9, 2012  
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Four cpg/retail industry executives offered their insights on the latest industry trends to 350 Network of Executive Women members and supporters at the NEW Chicago spring networking event May 3, 2012 at the Hyatt Regency in Schaumburg, Ill.

Panelists Stacia Andersen, senior vice president of merchandising -home for Target Corp.; Janel Haugarth, executive vice president of merchandising and logistics for SUPERVALU; Heather Mayo, vice president, grocery and snacks for Sam's Club; and Deidra Merriwether, senior vice president and COO of Sears Holdings Corp., shared their thoughts on the changes in consumer behavior and the future of women leadership in the industry. The discussion was moderated by NEW past Chair Alison Kenney Paul, vice chairman and U.S. retail leader, principal for Deloitte LLP.

Anderson told the crowd that the consumer is faster than ever before and "retailers must be nimble and have great resources, but be flexible.” Companies that simply push out brand information will not succeed, Mayo added. "It’s about receiving the consumer's need and responding." With women still making the majority of buying decisions, the industry needs them in retail leadership positions, Haugarth said.

But to be successful, women must put themselves in the position to be seen, Merriweather advised. Added Andersen: "The spirit of wanting women to be successful lies in mentoring up-and-coming women.”

"We’re aiming for the day when we cannot name all of the female CEOs off the top of our heads,” Paul said, reminding members that "NEW is a great place to learn invaluable leadership skills.”

Among the many companies that sent delegations to the NEW Chicago event were The Coca-Cola Company, Colgate-Palmolive, ConAgra Foods,Kellogg Company, Kraft Foods, NestléPurina Petcare, PromoWorks, SC Johnson, Sam’s Club, Sara Lee Corporation, Sears Holdings Corporation and Walgreens.

Past NEW Chair Alison Kenney Paul of Deloitte (left) moderated a 
panel discussion featuring Heather Mayo of Sam’s Club, Janel Haugarth
of SUPERVALU, Deidra Merriwether of Sears Holdings Corporation
and Stacia Andersen of Target Corporation.

The NEW Chicago steering committee came together at the region’s spring event
 May 3 in Schaumburg, Ill.

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