National Retail Federation Takes a Stand to Highlight Value of Retail Jobs, Transform Policymaker Perceptions
Chairman and CEO Join in Launching Retail Jobs Week
WASHINGTON, 2014-10-13— /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today kicked off Retail Jobs Week, a multi-faceted effort to push back against long-held misperceptions about working in the retail industry. Through this initiative, NRF aims to continue educating Washington lawmakers about the value retail jobs deliver for workers and the economy.
”Stubborn misperceptions have existed about retail and the jobs our industry provides,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Once again, we are asking that elected officials join us and stand up for the millions of people who make this industry great, are proud of their work and provide value to our daily lives.”
Lingering false stereotypes about retail wages and skills undermine the value of retail employment in the minds of lawmakers in Washington. Through research, facts and real-life stories, NRF will use Retail Jobs Week to promote the power of retail employment to Washington decision-makers.
“Retail jobs equip American workers with the valuable skills vital for success in today’s service economy,” Shay said. “Retail offers American workers opportunities other industries simply do not, like the flexibility to supplement family income while the kids are at school, or to pursue a degree. Retail jobs are good jobs and they deserve bipartisan support. There is a perception gap in Washington by those who choose to ignore proof to the contrary and NRF wants to close it.”
Retail, the largest private sector employer in this country, supports 42 million jobs and adds $2.6 trillion to the national economy. Over the last decade, retail has played a critical role in generating much-needed job growth in this country.
The five-day initiative will include the release of original research, new content showcasing retailers from every state in the country, social engagement of the retail community and a focused discussion highlighting the benefits of retail jobs.
“The hard work, passion, creativity and dedication displayed by retail workers are unmatched in any economic sector,” said Chairman of NRF and former Chairman and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue, Stephen Sadove. “Lawmakers in Washington know the truth about the value of working in retail and retail’s value to our country, and need to enact policies that support these men and women while creating additional opportunities for sustained growth in this dynamic industry.”
RETAIL JOBS WEEK SCHEDULE OF EVENTS
Monday, October 13 – Retail Jobs Week Launch: Retail Jobs Week will launch with an open letter to NRF’s 12,000 members and strategic content placed throughout NRF communications channels, including NRF Smartbrief, NRF.com and social media.
Tuesday, October 14 – Retail Drives the U.S. Economy: NRF will release an updated version of its 2011 PricewaterhouseCoopers study, underwritten by American Express, quantifying the impact of the retail industry on the U.S. economy and jobs, including specific state and congressional district data. Additionally, NRF will release Retail Across America: 50 States, 50 Stories, which highlights retailers from around the country.
Wednesday, October 15 – Retail’s Capital Impact: This day will be an opportunity to showcase all the good jobs retail offers and the countless opportunities it provides for meaningful life-long careers and more. NRF will release the findings of focus groups, a University of Georgia wages study showing that retail wages are highly-competitive with other sectors of the economy and content showcasing retail workers who started in-store and have made retail a career. NRF will host a series of conference calls to share these findings and hear from prominent industry leaders on the subject of jobs in retail.
On Wednesday night, NRF will host and partner with CityCenter DC to introduce Retail’s Night Out, a Washington event for congressional staffers and other opinion leaders that will celebrate shopping in the nation’s capital by showcasing local and national brands. The event will demonstrate retail’s economic impact in the city and the entrepreneurial spirit of retail business owners.
Thursday, October 16 – Retail is Small Business: NRF will showcase small businesses featured in its This is Retail campaign, highlighting their contributions to their communities, the economy and the job market. The Retail Small Business Council, launched in July at the Retail Advocates Summit, will also announce its steering committee.
Friday, October 17 – Retail Empowers People: NRF will take to social media to engage with key retail groups including employees, small business owners and other NRF communities like its Talent Acquisition Group and Small Business Retail Council, about what retail taught them. NRF will also release videos of President and CEO Matthew Shay discussing his first job in retail and what retail taught him.
NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay On, “What Retail Taught Me”
As the head of the world’s largest retail trade association, NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay knows a thing or two about retail. Watch as Shay describes what his first job in retail taught him, and how the skills he learned at 16 have helped him succeed.
NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.5 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy. NRF’s This is Retail campaign highlights the industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation. www.nrf.com