SOURCE: Retailing Today

September 19, 2007 11:10 ET

Retailing Today Recognizes Outstanding Retailers and Manufacturers, Including Staples, Wal-Mart and Toys 'R' Us for Excellence in Retailing

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - September 19, 2007) - The 30th Anniversary SPARC, Supplier Performance Awards by Retail Category, ceremony will commence on September 20, in Chicago, Ill. The awards celebrate some of the top names in the retail industry, including: JCPenney, Retailer of the Year; Staples, Specialty Retailer of the Year; and Target, Food Retailer of the Year. This year's Outstanding Corporate Citizen honorees include Toys 'R' Us for Toys for Tots, Target for Second Harvest, and Wal-Mart for the Safety Corner implemented in conjunction with the Children's Miracle Network in Chicago's Children's Memorial Hospital. The Humanitarian of the Year Award will be presented to Art Drogue, Senior VP, Customer Development, Unilever. The 2007 Retailing Today Hall of Fame winner; Jack Shewmaker, Director, Wal-Mart, will also be in attendance. The SPARC category awards and Vendors of the Year will also be presented at the ceremony.

Retailing Today polls buyers and merchandisers from the top 150 retail chains to solicit votes for the outstanding performers in 54 individual categories to determine the SPARC winners each year. The criterion, established by merchandising executives, includes self-sell packaging, new product innovation, on-time delivery, advertising support, and quality control.

The 2007 SPARC Committee presents the recipients their awards each year, in addition to determining the Hardlines and Softlines Vendors of the Year. Committee members include: Michael Howard, COO, Army & Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES); Rich Juliano, VP, General Merchandise/HBC, Supervalu; Tasso Koken, Senior VP, Merchandising, Best Buy; Todd Marshall, Director, Merchandising Operations, Target; John Scanlon, Senior VP, Merchandising, Family Dollar; Karen Stuckey, Senior VP, Wal-Mart; and Doug Wurl, VP & GMM, Home Fashions, Sears Holdings Corp.

The SPARC Awards are sponsored by Apex Analytix, Cadbury Schweppes Americas Beverages, Crossmark, Ink-o-Dem, Henkel and World Vision.

Retailing Today, the Connection to America's Leading Retailers, is a publication of Lebhar-Friedman, Inc., America's leading retail publishing company for over 80 years. Lebhar-Friedman serves over a million business managers and professionals across the globe. Publishers of periodicals, directories, and newsletters, Lebhar-Friedman, Inc. is the leader in providing insightful and up-to-date news and analysis on the retail industry.

For more information regarding Retailing Today's SPARC awards or to obtain a copy of the winners list, contact Laurie Reese at (212) 756-5195 or, or visit our web site at

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