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The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail.

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Student Challenge

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The NRF Foundation Student Challenge featuring STORY is back! This business case-competition was created for undergraduate college students with an entrepreneurial spirit, sharp business acumen, and creative mind pursuing any degree major relevant to retail such as business, finance, entrepreneurship, merchandising and buying, marketing, public relations and communications, graphic design and more. Since its launch, the NRF Foundation Student Challenge has provided more than $100,000 in scholarship funds to students across the country.

How to Apply

Learn more about how to apply for the 2019 Student Challenge, and meet the Class of 2018.

THE 2019 SCENARIO:
You are members of the creative, editorial and merchandise teams at STORY. Rachel Shechtman, the founder and CEO of STORY has asked for new STORY ideas to pitch to potential sponsors: The Home Depot, IBM, and Kroger. The STORY will run for four weeks at any time of year. Partner with two to four other team members to collaborate on a 30-page pitch presentation and a 90-second pitch video to convince the Chief Marketing Officer of your sponsor company select your ‘story’.

Your team must choose one of the following sponsors to focus on and create your own theme for STORY.

STORY: Background
Set in a 2,000-square-foot store located on Manhattan’s 10th Avenue retail corridor, STORY is a retail concept that takes the point of view of a magazine, changes like a gallery and sells things like a store. That means every four to eight weeks, STORY completely reinvents itself — from the design to the merchandise — with the goal of bringing to light a new theme, trend or issue. STORY serves as a matchmaker between brands and consumers, integrating strategies of marketing, merchandising and business development. As part of its unique model, STORY uses merchandise as part of its editorial content, meaning each product and brand helps shape the editorial lens.

STORY launched in beta as a “Startup Store” in 2011, spotlighting emerging digital retailers, and has gone on to showcase concepts including Color, Making Things, Have Fun and Love. Working with sponsors including American Express, Intel and Target. Constants of its ever-changing model: a view of retail that goes beyond the transaction and a permanent space where the experience is everything and collaboration tells a STORY.

Your Submission
Your team must submit a pitch presentation and pitch video; there are formatting and content requirements for entry materials. Learn how to apply here. 

NRF Foundation's 2018 Student Challenge

Members Only

The NRF Foundation Student Challenge is exclusively open to student members of the NRF Student Association through the NRF University Member program. Each member school can submit two teams, so interested applicants must check with their school’s NRF Student Association Advisor to see how they are selecting teams to enter. Your advisor will receive specific instructions on how to register you for the Student Challenge, and how to upload your business plan and pitch video.  

To join the NRF Student Association as a student member, your school must be a member of NRF. We currently partner with dozens of colleges and universities across the United States to promote careers in retail and provide students with exclusive access to educational, networking and scholarship opportunities. All students at member schools are eligible to join the NRF Student Association for free.

To find your advisor, or for more information, email scholarships@nrf.com.

NRF Student Association

Take advantage of NRFSA membership benefits and student programs.