With a theme of “Building a Solid Foundation,”
The event attracted all segments of the industry, from specialty apparel to home improvement chains to casual-dining restaurants. Kohl’s Corp., H&M, Collective Brands, True Religion Brand Jeans, Toys “R” Us, 7-Eleven, H-E-B Co., Rite Aid Corp., McDonald’s USA and Darden Restaurants were just a few of the chains in attendance. A complete list of the retail chains and other companies, including suppliers, at SPECS/2009 starts on page 130.
The educational program kicked off with a pre-conference session on one of the industry’s hottest topics: LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification. The regular program offered targeted workshops in six individual tracks: big-box construction, small-box construction, store planning and design, facilities management, personal development/business strategy and, new this year, foodservice. Several of the sessions focused on doing more with less, a key priority in today’s challenging retail environment.
The SPECS tradition of business partnering remained very much alive at this year’s event. Old ties were renewed and new alliances forged as attendees came together at breakfast, during the workshops, over meals and on the show floor. The event made clear that networking is still the defining element of the SPECS experience.