SOURCE: Lebhar - Friedman, Inc.

October 11, 2006 00:07 ET

Retailing Today Recognizes Outstanding Retailers and Manufacturers Including, The Home Depot, Best Buy, and Target for Excellence in Retailing

NEW YORK, NY -- (MARKET WIRE) -- October 11, 2006 -- The 29th Annual SPARC, Supplier Performance Awards by Retail Category, ceremony will commence on October 17, 2006 in Dallas, Texas. The awards celebrate some of the top names in the retail industry, including: Target, Retailer of the Year; CVS/Pharmacy, Specialty Retailer of the Year; SuperValu, Food Retailer of the Year; Outstanding Corporate Citizens of the Year: Best Buy for TE@CH, The Home Depot for the Hands on Network and JCPenney for the Afterschool Fund. The Humanitarian of the Year Award, a new award this year, will be presented to Jay Long, Community Relations, Coca-Cola. The 2006 Retailing Today Hall of Fame winner; Alan McCollough, Former Chairman & CEO, Circuit City Stores, will also be in attendance. The SPARC category awards, Vendors of the Year and the 10th Annual Retail Merchandising Innovation Award 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. "SPARC might as well be called the 'retail choice awards,'" said Retailing Today editor in chief Tim Craig. "As the industry's only awards program in which retailers and manufacturers play an active role in recognizing each other's performance, SPARC offers up a winners list that is truly reflective of the pulse of the industry."

The 2006 SPARC Committee presents the recipients their awards each year, in addition to determining the Hardlines and Softlines Vendors of the Year. Committee members include: John Scanlon, Senior Vice President, Family Dollar; Paul White, President & Chief Operating Officer, ShopKo; Rob Gruen, Executive Vice President, Merchandising, HSN; Todd Marshall, Director of Merchandising Operations, Target; Marilyn Iverson, Chief Operating Officer, AAFES; Karen Stuckey, Senior Vice President, GMM Apparel, Wal-Mart; Tasso Koken, Senior Vice President, Merchandising, Best Buy.

The SPARC Awards, sponsored by 3M, Lollytogs and World Vision, will be hosted in conjunction with the Annual Leaders Exchange, (ALEx) meeting hosted by the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA).

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, contact Nikki Pirrello at 212-756-5251, or npirrell@lf.com and to download a full list of winners, log onto http://www.retailingtoday.com/dsnrt/surveys/instore_pdfs/95-586-SPARC.pdf.

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