The National Retail Federation (NRF) is a global trade association dedicated to providing advocacy, communications, and education for the retail industry. An important job, considering the retail industry includes over 3.6 million establishments, 42 million jobs, and 2.5 trillion of the U.S. GDP. With one out of every four American jobs existing directly or indirectly due to retail, our country’s economy is significantly impacted by what happens in retail. Therefore, the retail segment needs to have a unified voice, and the NRF aims to be just that.
Members of the NRF include retailers of every type, US partners as well as international partners from more than 45 countries. There are 4 association groups in the NRF: the Association for Retail Technology Standards, the National Council of Chain Restaurants, the Retail Advertising and Marketing Association and Shop.org. The NRF Foundation (NRFF), a non-profit foundation supporting the NRF, conducts research in the retail industry, develops materials for education and workforce development, and promotes careers in retail
The NRF website offers a number of helpful resources that you should be aware of.
You'll find a list of publications and e-newsletters, that will keep you up to date on retail trends, industry forecasting, international trade, and public policies affecting retail. A popular monthly magazine is STORES magazine, published by the NRF Foundation, to cover important issues affecting today’s senior retail professional. You will also find more publications specific to sales, government relations, supply chain, and general retail news.
You’ve probably heard of the “flash mob” phenomenon, where groups of people commit retail crimes in grab-and-run scenarios. The NRF addresses current hot topics like this. They recently published Multiple Offender Crimes (August 2, 2011), sharing their own research on flash mobs and how retailers can deal with these situations.
This is one example of what you might find in the NRF Retail Reference Center--a library of NRF’s own research and the insights and resources of associate members. The library also includes a listing of recruitment and training options, and directories of product and service providers as well as software applications.
Other examples of the NRF’s research are the STORES 100 lists. In addition to the popular Top 100 Retailers list, which names the current power players in the US, they recently published the Hot 100 Retailers, which reveals the chains that are growing the fastest. The Top 250 Global Retailers gives insight into global retailing powers, and the Favorite 50 lists shoppers’ favorite online retailers.
There are many more research items to explore on the web site, covering topics such as consumer trends, seasonal shopping guides, and retail industry indicators.
You will also find buying guides on the web site. The LP Supplier Directory lists products, services, and solutions for retail-specific loss prevention. STORES’ Software Sourcebook is a guide for finding retail-specific solutions for optimum operating efficiency. And the Retail Industry Buying Guide is a go-to source for products and services used in retail operations.
Events sponsored by the NRF’s divisions represent important opportunities for those in retail to meet, collaborate and learn. The NRF’s Digital Division, Shop.org, is holding their Annual Summit September 12-14, 2011. The Retail’s BIG Show, scheduled for January 15-18, 2012 in New York, also promises to be a hot spot for anyone involved in the retail industry. The 2011 convention (pictured above) saw more than 22,000 retail professionals from 82 countries, with more than 500 solution providers presenting at the EXPO. See the full Event Calendar to find out more and to find out about other important industry events.