New PLMA Sky Hall Takes The show’s Through The Roof

PLMA’s 2012 Private Label Trade Show, is taking expansion to a higher level with the creation of a new Sky Hall to open more space for the growth of private label and private label suppliers. The Sky Hall heralds the biggest change to come to the annual show in years, reflecting recent gains of private label in the marketplace, as well as increasing diversification and expansion via acquisitions by a number of successful store brands suppliers.

Staking their claims to higher ground, major exhibitors like Ralcorp Food Group, Conagra Store Brands, Clement Pappas & Co. and Tetrapak – who long held preferred booth locations on the show floor – are taking part in the expansion to Sky Hall and enlarging the footprints of their exhibits by as much as 200% or more.

In addition to opening future access to 500 units, PLMA’s Sky Hall expansion will have the added benefit of freeing up space for expansion on the lower level for larger companies, and opening up new spaces for first-time exhibitors coming into the show.

On arriving for the 2012 PLMA event, retailers and other visitors will know immediately that a major makeover of the exhibition space within the Rosemont Convention Center has taken place. Construction is being completed for the new hall to open its doors to buyers at 8:30am on Monday, November 12, a half-hour ahead of the other halls. The re-configuration will extend a new and dramatic entrance for the show floor, creating an access for PLMA’s Sky Hall in the center of the existing halls on the entry level.

Food suppliers will continue to be mainstay of the large north hall as well as the central connecting hall, offering every type of food and beverage, including prepared foods, snacks, gourmet and specialty items, food ingredients and more. On the non-food side, exhibitors will still offer health and beauty care, over-the-counter pharmaceuticals, vitamins & nutrition, household, kitchen and cleaning products, DIY and general merchandise. In all, exhibitors from more than 35 countries will be represented on the PLMA show floor. International pavilions, too, have expanded their participation in recent years and will continue to do so in 2012.

Also recently announced by PLMA is the addition of a special Pet Care Pavilion to call attention to the rising importance of pet categories in store brands programs, while PLMA’s popular Idea Supermarket will again turn a spotlight on products, packaging and program innovations from retailers across the country and around the world.

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Christopher Durham is the president of My Private Brand and the co-founder of The Vertex Awards. He is a strategist, author, consultant and retailer who built brands at Delhaize-owned Food Lion, and lead strategy and brand development for Lowe’s Home Improvement. He has consulted with retailers around the world on their private brand portfolios including: Family Dollar, Petco, Staples, Office Depot, Best Buy, Metro (Canada), TLW (Taiwan) and Hola (Taiwan). Durham has published five definitive books on private brands, including his first book, Fifty2: The My Private Brand Project. In 2017, he will debut his newest book, Vanguard: Vintage Originals, a visual tour of innovation and disruption in private brand going back to the mid-1800’s. Dynamic in his presentation while down to earth and frank in his opinions, he has presented at numerous conferences, including FUSE, The Dieline Conference, Packaging that Sells, Omnishopper and PLMA’a annual trade show in Chicago. Durham lives in Charlotte, NC with his wife, Laraine, and two daughters, Olivia and Sarah.