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Retail Trends

Happy Birthday, This is Retail!

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In the past 12 months, we’ve partnered with more than 40 retail brands to tell a different type of story about retail careers, how brands support the communities they serve and how retailers are driving an innovative shopping experience for their customers. As the campaign manager for this initiative, I’ve had the (amazing) opportunity to experience some pretty cool moments with some of the best and brightest in our industry. Here are my top five:

Generating excitement about retail careers.

When we announced the launch of the campaign at last year’s Global Retailing Conference, Xandria Leopold, a retail consumer sciences student at the University of Arizona, shared with the Arizona Daily Star that she was excited about the campaign because, "it makes me proud of retail." 

Retailers on Capitol Hill during NRF's 2013 Washington Leadership Conference

Impacting Capitol Hill perceptions of the industry.

In May of last year, our annual fly-in offered our members a chance to tell lawmakers what retail meant to them and the results were pretty powerful.

Showcasing retail’s impact on communities.

As thousands of retail loss prevention employees gathered for our yearly conference last June, we asked them to share stories of how their companies and teams support the communities they serve. The responses were so overwhelming that NRF even donated $1,000 to support “Strokes for Strokes.”  At the same time, I had the opportunity to talk with Boston Police Department Night Commander William Gross about the immediate assistance area retailers provided in the wake of the Boston Marathon tragedy. His story was awe-inspiring.

Explaining the full impact of policy decisions on Main Street.

In October, Congress decided it was time to take a break from work.  Our members were able to use This is Retail to share their thoughts on the real effect the government shutdown had back home. As Andrew Brewer, owner of Onion River Sports in Montpelier, Vt., pointed out, “When you’re far enough removed from real life, from what’s really happening on Main Street America and you’re trying to solve these huge problems, you forget the real effect it has on people.”

Uncovering stories from brands large and small. 

Take a look behind the scenes at some who have helped reveal some of the more “invisible” jobs in retail – ones those outside the industry might never know existed.   


It’s been an amazing first year. But too many people still believe the myth that retail is low-wage, low-tech, and low-talent. NRF enters year two of This is Retail: Careers, Community and Innovation as committed as ever to fundamentally transforming that misperception of retail. 

And we want you to join us.