Magazine article Drug Topics

HBA Show Trumpets Some Good Deals in the Big Easy

Magazine article Drug Topics

HBA Show Trumpets Some Good Deals in the Big Easy

Article excerpt

Despite the fact that attendance did not reach goal, the second annual Exclusively HBA meeting held in New Orleans recently was judged a success by both manufacturers and retailers.

Exclusively HBA is the only industry trade show devoted entirely to the health and beauty aids and care business. It is staged by Jay Spaulding, principal and CEO of Exclusively HBA.

Attendance up: At a trade press conference during the second day of the show, Spaulding said that attendance figures for the show had surpassed the premier Exclusively HBA show, held last year in Detroit. The New Orleans show included 340 manufacturing companies and 276 retailer and distributor firms, with some retailers having more than one buyer attend the show.

However, attendance fell short of the 1,000 mark Spaulding had set as a goal for this meeting. "We had two goals," he said. "First, to have more than 300 manufacturers, which we surpassed, and second, to have 1,000 retailers. I'm a touch disappointed that we didn't reach the second goal, but it was a rather ambitious one."

He's setting his sights on 1,000 decision-makers for next year's gathering in Denver. Projections are to have more than 400 manufacturing companies.

A significant portion of those at the meeting--about 10%--were from major drug chains. But a major portion of the attendance was from the discount trade class. Kim Maguire of discounter Target Stores singled out the show as a critical meeting for discount stores. "This is a very important show for us, because we don't really have an industry show devoted to HBA," he said.

Retailers walking the 225,000 sq. ft. of floor space at the New Orleans Convention Center were on the prowl for new items to spice up not only fourth quarter 1991, but also the first quarter of 1992. "We'll be looking for new items and a few deals for the fourth quarter," said Frank Shanower, v. …

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