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ICFA Revamps Pre-Casual Market Retailer Education Program

The ACE Hardware marketing team will share the benefits of in-store events at the September event, held before Casual Market Chicago.

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ICFA retailer education
Left to right: Gary Drummond, Dan Polanski, Heather Woods

How can brick-and-mortar stores compete with the massive selection and ordering ease of online stores? The marketing experts at ACE Hardware say, throw a party.

ACE is a 95-year-old hardware retailer with 5,000 independently owned and operated locations. The International Casual Furnishings Association (ICFA) has invited the company’s marketing team to share its in-store event expertise in an all-new Special Events Seminar, Panel Discussion and Think Tank on Monday, Sept. 9, the day before Casual Market Chicago opens.

Gary Drummond, digital marketing and brand strategy manager; Dan Polanski, marketing retail operations manager; and Heather Woods, promotional execution specialist, all with ACE Hardware, will present “In-Store Events 101: Online Stores Can’t Throw a Party!” The executives will share their passion for developing in-store events that transform the retail environment into a shopping experience.

The presentation will be followed by a panel of industry leaders sharing special event success stories. Participants include Steve Elton, Brown Jordan; Susan Kiley, Bay Breeze Patio; Jessica Salisbury, Village Green; and Brad Schweig, Sunnyland.

ICFA retailer education
Left to right: Steve Elton, Susan Kiley, Jessica Salisbury, Brad Schweig

The noon to 7 p.m. event takes place in conference room 6-180 at The Mart and will open with lunch sponsored by Treasure Garden. The program begins at 1 p.m. Klaussner Outdoor will host a reception to cap off the day from 6 to 7 p.m. in their showroom, Suite 16-100. Gensun will sponsor the Think Tank session

Registration is $50 for ICFA members and $75 for non-members. A portion of each registration will be donated to City of Hope. Attendees will be eligible to win a variety of door prizes, including merchandise and gift certificates.

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