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General NRF Questions

What are the address, phone and fax numbers for the National Retail Federation?
Answer: The National Retail Federation is located at 325 7th Street, NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20004. The main phone number is 202-783-7971 or toll-free 1-800-NRF-HOW2. The main fax number is 202-737-2849.

Does the National Retail Federation (NRF) provide its membership list to interested parties? Does the federation maintain a general listing of retailers?
Answer: The NRF does not make its membership list publicly available. If you are interested in obtaining lists of retailers, contact Chain Store Guide Information Services at 1-800-289-6837 for mailing lists. They also publish retail directories of wholesalers and distributors and may be found in large public libraries or may be ordered by calling 1-800-927-9292 or 813-664-6800.


Does the National Retail Federation provide any information on bar coding resources?
Answer: There are two organizations that do provide bar code information. AIM USA, a membership-based trade association for the automatic data collection industry, provides unbiased and up-to-date information on applications and specifications for all ADC technologies. Insight, a bar code support group, provides resources to individuals implementing bar code technology. Other companies that offer bar coding products and services include BarCode World at 213-893-7607, Continuous Forms Control, Inc. at 800-376-1176, Eltron International, Inc. at 818-885-6484, and Symbol Technologies, Inc. at 800-SCAN-234.

What is the Standard Color & Size Code System?
Answer: The NRF Standard Color and Size Codes are standards used in the implementation of U.P.C. (Universal Product Code) as a vehicle to achieve color and size identification of general merchandise and apparel for EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) purposes. For further information and publications on EDI, contact the Uniform Code Council (UCC) at (937) 435-3870. The NRF Standard Color and Size Codes are used with the supported version of the VICS (Voluntary Inter-industry Communication Standards) EDI Price Sales Catalog (832) Transaction Set. The codes are required minimum data elements required to identify a vendor’s product to a retailer on a color and size level.

How do I order the Standard Color & Size Code Handbook?
Answer: The NRF Standard Color and Size Code database is available online through approved partners Inovis, Inc. (formerly QRS Corporation) or GXS. Additional information may be found at www.nrf.com/cs. For additional information on the codes contact Karen Shunk, Senior Director, Technology Standards.

Does the NRF have any information on retail-related software and POS?
Answer: The NRF's On-line Software Directory for Retailers, is posted on NRF's website. Retailers may search by type of retailer, retail size, strategic information tools, as well as financial, operating, distribution, store systems and more. Vendors have direct access to their data allowing for immediate updates to their products.

Industry Information

How can I find out national retail figures? Figures for sales, employment, number of establishments, compensation and women in the workforce?
While all of these figures may be found from various government agencies, the NRF has compiled a wide variety of national government statistics in the NRF Foundation's Retail Industry Indicators. For more details, visit the NRF Bookstore or call the NRF's Publications Department at 202-783-7971. If you are interested in additional information, visit the Census of Retail Trade at http://www.census.gov/ under "R" for retail.

Does the NRF identify and supply information on the top retailers in the industry?
Answer: Yes, the July and August issues of NRF's STORES Magazine include lists of the Top 100 Retailers and of the Top 100 Specialty Stores respectively. The August issue includes the Top Internet Retailers. They are ranked by their yearly sales figures and statistics on earnings and units are provided. The information may be found at http://www.stores.org/.

Where can I find the exact definition of different types of retail outlets?
The Department of Commerce, Bureau of the Census (Retail Division) defines retail outlets by Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) codes. Definitions for these SIC codes may be found in the Standard Industrial Classification Manual or through the Commerce Department, 301-457-2687 or 2688.

Education and Career Training

Does the NRF have a job bank?
Answer: NRF offers several options for online job searching. Visit the NRF Foundation for details.

I am interested in pursuing an education and a career in retailing. Does the NRF have any information available?
Answer: NRF Foundation's Retail Careers & Advancement website is a comprehensive and continually growing resource for retail career and education exploration. In addition to offering retail career information general to the industry and executive profiles, the website features links to partner retailers' career websites and colleges/universities with retail degree programs.

Manufacturers, Wholesalers and Distributors

Does the NRF supply information on manufacturers?
Answer: No, the NRF does not collect information on manufacturers. You may want to contact either the National Association of Manufacturers at 202-637-3000 or the American Apparel Manufacturers Association at 703-524-1864. Another excellent source is the Thomas Register of American Manufacturers, which may be found in all major libraries or through Thomas Publishing Co. at 212-695-0500. Also, the American Apparel Producer's Network maintains a free listing of 300 American apparel products. They may be reached at 404-843-3171 or at http://www.usawear.org/.

Where can I find a list of wholesalers and distributors?
Answer: The American Wholesalers and Distributors Directory, published by Gale Research, Inc., can be purchased by calling 1-800-877-GALE. Dun & Bradstreet also sells lists of wholesalers and distributors, which can be ordered at 1-800-624-5669 or 201-605-6000.

What is the best source for information on Universal Product Codes (UPC)?
Answer: For information on UPC codes, contact the Uniform Code Council at (937) 435-3870, 7887 Washington Village Drive, Suite 300, Dayton, Ohio 45459.

Opening a Retail Store

How do I go about opening my own retail store or gift basket business?
Answer: For general information, the Small Business Administration offers assistance to people setting up small businesses. The SBA topics range from financing, counseling and referrals to local assistance within your community. The toll-free number for the SBA is 1-800-8ASKSBA. On the local level, community college courses and adult education programs prove very informative to the new entrepreneur. Your local Chamber of Commerce may have helpful information as well.

Where do I find merchandise to stock my store?
Merchandise for your store may be purchased at the various retail trade shows and buyers' markets. There are many sources in which you may ascertain the location, date, and time for these buying opportunities, some of which may be found at your local library.

Three large regional gift and apparel markets are: the Atlanta Market Center, 250 Spring Street NW, Suite 2S-339, Atlanta, GA 30303, 404-220-2446; the Chicago Merchandise Mart, 200 World Trade Center, Suite 470, Chicago, IL 60654, 312-527-7600; and the Dallas Market Center, 2100 Stemmons Fwy., Dallas, TX 75207, 800-325-6587.

Other resources include the Tradeshow Week Data Book and Women's Wear Daily. You should also check your local yellow pages for resident buying offices in your area. Most buying offices are located in large metropolitan areas.

How can I get more information about a particular article of clothing in my possession?
Answer: Search for the Registered Number (RN), which is found on a small tag usually located on the seams of your clothing. If you contact the Federal Trade Commission at 202-326-2100 with this number, they will supply you with product information.

How can I find suppliers for store fixtures?
Answer: One source is Visual Merchandising & Store Design’s Buying Guide, which covers products, services, distributors, contract designers and free lance visual merchandisers, 513-421-2050. You may also want to contact the National Association of Display Industries at 212-661-4261.