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Forte Buying Group members attend the Retailer Web Services seminar during the group’s recent summer meeting in suburban Chicago. Photo by John McNally/Supply House Times.


Nearly 60 members of the Forte Buying Group assembled July 17-18 at the Westin O’Hare Hotel in Rosemont, Ill., for its annual summer meeting. The group held peer-to-peer roundtables, workshops and meetings.

Among the highlights from the two-day gathering was the Retailer Web Services user group meeting where Forte members learned about added values coming to the RWS program. RWS assists Forte members with website sales and search engine optimization.

Forte Buying Group Executive Director Tom Cohn noted the working relationship between the buying group and RWS has been fruitful. He expects to see more members utilizing RWS’ services in the near future.

“One of our shareholders told me he used to get one inquiry a week and now he’s getting three per day,” he said. “Those inquiries are coming from actual consumers asking about information on products X, Y and Z. That in turn is increasing sales. Once that message starts to spread and people see the search engine optimization results, such as showing up on the first page of Google searches, we expect to see a greatly expanded participation in the Forte-RWS partnership.”

 Forte’s 2014 conference is scheduled for Feb. 20-23 at Doral Golf Resort & Spa in Miami.