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‘Showrooming’ Added To GAAS 2012 Agenda

Mark Finestone, senior vice president of merchandising for AutoZone, will make the presentation on this new phenomenon where shoppers scope out merchandise in stores but buy from electronic retailers at a lower price because they do not have a brick and mortar presence and usually don’t collect state and local sales taxes.

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CHICAGO – A presentation on "Showrooming" and its implications for the aftermarket has been added to the agenda for the 2012 Global Automotive Aftermarket Symposium (GAAS).
 
Mark Finestone, senior vice president of merchandising for AutoZone, will make the presentation on this new phenomenon where shoppers scope out merchandise in stores but buy from electronic retailers at a lower price because they do not have a brick and mortar presence and usually don’t collect state and local sales taxes.
 
"Showrooming is a new word for a lot of people, but it has been the focus of numerous articles in publications like the Wall Street Journal and has impacted retailers like Best Buy and Target," said Dennis Welvaert, GAAS chairman. "Even though it doesn’t appear to be an issue for the aftermarket right now, Mark’s presentation will look at showrooming and how it could impact our industry down the road. His goal is to help get the conversation started about the topic so it doesn’t take us by surprise five years from now. We are excited to make room on our schedule to discuss this vital topic."
 
Finestone joined AutoZone in 2002 and was elected senior vice president of merchandising in 2008. Previously, he was vice president of merchandising with responsibility for the Tune-Up and Minor Repair teams.  
 
GAAS 2012, “One Industry, Endless Opportunities,” will be held Wednesday, May 16 and Thursday, May 17 at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare in Rosemont, Ill., (near Chicago). The presentation on showrooming will take place on May 16 from 4-4:30 p.m. To review the latest agenda and to register for GAAS 2012, visit www.globalsymposium.org.
 
Hotel reservations for the Hyatt Regency can be made online at https://resweb.passkey.com/go/auaf or by calling Hyatt Central Reservations at (888) 421-1442.
 
GAAS recently announced that this year’s event will feature a special registration rate for companies to bring their leadership teams. After a company pays full price for three individuals from their company to attend GAAS 2012, the fourth member and any other subsequent employees can register at the rate of $250.  
 
Each year the net proceeds of GAAS are invested in the organization’s scholarship fund to help students get their automotive aftermarket careers started. Additional scholarship funding comes from industry contributions from individuals, companies and foundations. Details about the GAAS scholarship program are available at www.automotivescholarships.com.

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