A JOINT LETTER
from Stephen I. Sadove and Matthew R. Shay
The past year was one of landmark change at NRF. We moved to a new building, changed our logo, reached a new high of 14,000 members, revamped our website and adopted a new philosophy that sees retail as one integrated whole rather than divisions like online versus bricks-and-mortar or department store versus specialty store. But we did not abandon our strategic pillars of advocacy, communications and education — in fact, these changes helped advance them more effectively.
Advocacy efforts in Washington were particularly challenging during this election year, but NRF was able to make progress on a number of long-pending issues. With criminal hackers stealing consumer credit card numbers more often, we scored a major victory when the White House agreed with us that new credit cards should include PIN numbers, not just computer chips as proposed by the card industry. We fought for protection against frivolous lawsuits brought by “patent trolls” and urged final approval of legislation to collect sales tax on Internet purchases the same as local stores. And we worked every day to shield our industry from a regulatory assault that threatens jobs, growth and opportunity for retailers large and small.
Retail has a great story to tell; one of our primary missions is to ensure it is not only told, but heard by policy makers at every level of government. We took our This is Retail campaign on the road with “Retail Across America” to chronicle the stories of retailers from around the country who create good jobs, give back to their communities and innovate in ways no other industry can replicate. And we asked PricewaterhouseCoopers to update our earlier study showing the economic benefits of retail in each state and congressional district, proving once again that retail drives virtually every facet of our economy and serves as the leading industry sector on a host of economic indicators.
Our ability to educate stakeholders about the importance of jobs and careers in retail was increased with a new University of Georgia study commissioned by the NRF Foundation showing that retail wages are competitive with other industries. We expanded our college scholarship programs, making it easier for the nation’s best and brightest to choose or advance retail careers. And we continued to offer invaluable networking and educational opportunities for retailers at NRF conferences including Retail’s BIG Show, which continues to grow — not only in numbers, but in its overall importance to the industry.
Retail is moving forward at lightning speed. As we enter a new year, NRF will continue to use the tools of advocacy, communications and education to see that nothing stands in its way.
Stephen I. Sadove
Chairman of the Board
National Retail Federation
Chairman and CEO
Saks Incorporated (Retired)
Matthew R. Shay
President and CEO
National Retail Federation