MONTCLAIR, NJ (July 26, 2021) — SmartWork Media and SHOP! Association have agreed to a formal management relationship beginning September 1, 2021. SmartWork Media will support SHOP!, the leading association for retail experience developers, with the creation and delivery of improved member benefits, event production, marketing, promotions and administrative support. The organizations are well aligned since both share both a passion and a common mission to provide retailers with the tools, ideas and practical business information they need to improve the customer experience in-store and at point of purchase.
Murray Kasmenn, SmartWork Media vice president and group brand director, will serve as SHOP! executive director. Kasmenn has spent over 20 years working with brands that support the retail shopping experience, most recently as publisher of VMSD. “The retail environment is my passion and SHOP! is the association that can elevate the entire industry,” says Kasmenn. “Retail has faced both tremendous challenges and an ongoing evolution, and with SmartWork’s management and communications experience, SHOP! will support and inform its members and bring the industry together. We are committed to fostering growth and shepherding the changes needed to elevate the association and achieve its utmost success.”
SHOP! Board Chair Bruce Barteldt says the association has made this strategic move to help members shape the evolution of retail. “Murray Kasmenn and the team he leads have a truly compelling understanding of the evolving world of retail and are collectively seen as the authority over where the current marketplace is pointed,” he says. “Along with the other publications under the SWM umbrella — VMSD, INSTORE, SIGNS OF THE TIMES, BRAND EXPERIENCE (BXP) and several other publications — SmartWork Media’s reach and insights will expose the association to millions of new retailers, brands and professionals serving the retail industry. Their well known, best-in-class show, IRDC (the International Retail Design Conference), demonstrates their ability to put on events that are relevant to retailers and brands, offer compelling networking opportunities and therefore will be of high value to our members. You’ll be hearing more detailed plans and opportunities for engagement from Murray in the coming months, so keep on the look-out and get ready for some excitement!”
Matthijs Braakman, CEO of Smartwork Media, underscores the value of the synergies between SmartWork and SHOP! “As publishers of trade journals for independent retailers and the store design and signage industries, we’re vested in improving the retail experience for customers and owners,” he says. “For 70 years, SHOP! has focused on helping retailers to learn about the latest in store design and the overall retail experience. Our common goals make this a natural partnership.” He continues, “The board of SHOP! has given us their confidence that SmartWork will play a leading role in establishing its future direction. We are eager to get started and make a positive impact for members and stakeholders.”
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ABOUT SMARTWORK MEDIA: SmartWork Media is dedicated to the idea that business media should strive to inform, excite and inspire business readers, and that a good business magazine can (and should) have the energy and compulsive readability of a top consumer publication. The company publishes; INSTORE, INVISION, PETS+, VMSD, SIGNS OF THE TIMES, BIG PICTURE, SCREEN PRINTING and BXP magazines as well as their respective websites, and events — IRDC, EyeInnovate, PETS+ Thrive! and the Garden Center Show.
ABOUT SHOP! ASSOCIATION: SHOP! Association serves the retail design, fixturing, display and point of purchase industries. It provides market research, education and networking to more than 1,400 member companies and affiliates globally. SHOP! members are leading industry suppliers who create, ideate and design new consumer retail experiences.