The changing supermarket industry is also causing some changes in an upcoming Food Marketing Institute (FMI) conference. The formerly separate Energy & Technical Services Conference and Retail Store Development Conference have been integrated into a new event: the FMI Energy & Store Development Conference. And while the latest in technology will continue to be a focus, it will be in a broader context.

“The Energy & Store Development Conference provides innovative ideas and tactical solutions to help retailers design, develop, and maintain stores that are more energy-efficient, effective, and meet changing consumer needs and desires,” was the description from FMI.

It takes place Sept. 19-22 at the Hilton Hotel in Minneapolis, Minn. “High-level discussions include a review of the energy market, industry/consumer/market trends, regulatory/compliance issues, and sustainability/resource conservation,” FMI noted.

In addition to the familiar topics of refrigeration, HVAC, lighting, equipment, utility costs, and energy management, there will be presentations and discussions related to construction, facilities management, store design, and merchandising.

In a scheduled keynote address, Richard (Ric) N. Jurgens, chairman and CEO of Hy-Vee Inc., and chairman of the board, FMI, is expected to talk about how store development and energy fit into the overall strategic picture in the supermarket industry.

There will be a number of case studies including one from SuperValu describing how collaboration among the merchandising, operations, and store development teams allow for the design and building of profitable and efficient stores; and one from Target on how branding strategy is incorporated into all store design and development.

The most up-to-date developments regarding current and future legislative activities will be covered by Ted Gartland of Allied Representatives. There will also be presentations on the energy market and consumer trends.

Other topics include format/design trends described as showing “trends and ways to maintain safe and efficient stores that meet the needs of a changing consumer”; and energy efficient design, in which attendees will hear how progressive operators incorporate energy-savings strategies into their store development plans to create successful stores.

During an idea exchange luncheon, attendees will be able to discuss a major issue with their peers and business partners. Topics attendees can choose from include refrigeration systems standards, preferred HVAC set points, smaller format concepts, store-level energy awareness, daylighting, water conservation, and the issue of technician shortages.

Attendees will also have several options to choose from during an afternoon of tours to area stores - one tour focused on energy, one on design, and one of general interest.

The event will conclude with a series of presentations on refrigeration innovations, lighting, and net zero energy buildings.

For registration and conference information, go to and click on “2010 Energy & Store Development Conference” under the calendar listings, or contact Laurie Gethin, 202-220-0715,

Publication date: 08/02/2010