From victories on Capitol Hill to leading the conversation on the economy to helping support and encourage the next generation of talented retail leaders, 2015 was a year of firsts and unprecedented growth in the way NRF serves retailers across the country.
With dozens of issues on the retail industry’s agenda, coming up with accomplishments to highlight in NRF’s annual report this year was no challenge. Instead, the difficulty was in narrowing down the list to those that had the most impact for you, our members.
Perhaps the biggest accomplishment of the year for our import-dependent industry was enactment of Trade Promotion Authority, which will make it easier to complete trade agreements around the globe. We also won improvements to the Affordable Care Act, showed that government-mandated minimum wage increases would decrease job creation and that overtime expansion would limit career opportunities. We educated lawmakers that chip-and-signature credit cards provide only half the security of chip-and-PIN cards and worked to ensure that patent reform legislation will truly protect retailers. And while not all issues were resolved by year’s end, we set the stage for robust debate during the upcoming election year and in the new Congress.
Facts and figures to back up rhetoric are essential for winning on Capitol Hill. That is why we launched the new NRF Retail Research and Analysis Center, a multimillion-dollar initiative that has already begun to yield crucial new data demonstrating that retail wages are as competitive as those in any industry, showing the value of retail on a resume and documenting the influence retailers have in shaping our nation’s workforce.
The stage for many of these accomplishments was set at Retail’s BIG Show, which once again reached record attendance with tens of thousands of retailers from around the globe. And we celebrated retail careers by hosting the first-ever NRF Foundation Gala, which drew a who’s who of retail executives, honored the 25 inaugural members of The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future and raised nearly $1.2 million for the foundation’s scholarship programs and efforts to show the next generation of workers the wide range of professional opportunities available in our industry.
As the growth and progress in NRF programs demonstrate, we continue to look for opportunities to add value for our members. We would not exist without you, nor could we do what we do without your engagement and support.
Chairman of the Board
National Retail Federation,
Chairman and CEO
The Container Store
Matthew R. Shay
President and CEO
National Retail Federation
Attendees at 22 Conferences and networking dinners
Retail jobs posted on the NRF Job Board
Meetings on Capitol Hill with 450 members of Congress
Miles driven, eight states visited and more than 80 retailers met with on the Retail Across America road trip
Raised at the NRF Foundation Inaugural Gala
College and university partners to help shape the next generation of retail leaders
In scholarships awarded to more than 250 students, educators and current retail employees
From the passage of Trade Promotion Authority to driving the conversation on the impact of the West Coast ports slowdown, NRF made sure retailers could continue to provide goods and services to their customers in 2015.
NRF was retail’s voice in conversations about the role of government in business, providing real-time and real-world data and stories about the impact of regulations on retailers and their employees.
NRF ensured that retail, the nation’s largest private-sector employer, is recognized as an industry powerhouse and a major player in Washington, D.C.
In July NRF hosted the Retail Advocates Summit, which brought 150 top retailers to Capitol Hill for meetings with lawmakers on critical issues like overtime, Internet sales tax collection and data security. In addition to advancing NRF’s policy objectives, this annual meeting celebrates activism by local retailers, builds strong relationships with key state associations and helps to remind lawmakers that one in four jobs are tied to retail.
NRF reached 8.5 million people with its first national TV ads during the second Democratic presidential debate. The spots featured real people and real footage of retail in action and gained tremendous positive exposure for the industry.
NRF remained the go-to source for industry and consumer data, providing real-time commentary on some of the nation’s top conversations, as well as cutting-edge research to give members the tools they need to grow their business.
of hiring managers say retail provides employees with important skills and traits.“Retail’s Value on a Resume: How Jobs in Retail Prepare America’s Workforce for Success”
NRF delivered dozens of research reports, industry surveys and white papers to give members the tools they need to grow their business. For a complete list of resources visit the NRF Retail Library.
The NRF Foundation created opportunities for current and aspiring retail employees to advance their education, grow their careers and highlight their successes.
In 2015 over $500,000 was awarded
to more than 250 students, educators and current retail employees through the Ray Greenly, Next Generation, Student Challenge, Rising Stars and Dream BIG scholarships as well as educator stipends for Retail’s Academic Symposium.
The Walmart Foundation awarded an$800,000 Grant to the NRF Foundation
enabling them to conduct analysis of the retail industry’s learning and development needs, fund three research projects and create a community of leaders in retail learning and development from NRF member companies.
From Retail’s BIG Show to student programs to startup competitions, NRF events brought together the best and the brightest to share ideas, learn from industry experts, experience the latest retail technology and celebrate retail.