National Retail Federation announces the appointment of Christian Beckner to head its cybersecurity program

WASHINGTON, 2018-Feb-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (February 9, 2018) announced that it has hired Christian Beckner, a top Washington cybersecurity think tank expert and former U.S. Senate homeland security advisor, to head its cybersecurity program that helps retailers protect sensitive consumer data nationwide.

“Protecting consumer data is one of retailers’ top priorities, and Christian is a proven cybersecurity veteran with the expertise and experience to help us combat this never-ending battle,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “His diverse background and in-depth knowledge of technology and security is an unparalleled resource for the retail industry and the consumers they serve.”

As senior director of retail technology, Beckner will lead NRF’s CIO Council, IT Security Council and cybersecurity program, and will be responsible for developing strategies, programs and activities to maintain NRF as the technology leader and convener in the retail sector. Included in the cybersecurity program is the NRF Retail Information Sharing and Analysis Organization and Threat Alert System, which gathers intelligence on cybersecurity threats targeting retailers and alerts companies to help them keep data secure.

“I am looking forward to taking the next step in my career working on behalf of an industry with such a unique set of technology and security challenges,” Beckner said. “Retailers work round-the-clock every day against cyber threats, and I want to use what I’ve learned over the last two decades to help them address these critical issues head on.”

Beckner spent the past five years as deputy director of George Washington University’s Center for Cyber and Homeland Security, a think tank where he focused on cybersecurity, counterterrorism and homeland security. He was previously an associate staff director at the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, where he was responsible for coordination of oversight and legislation on a broad range of homeland security and intelligence issues. Among other assignments, he contributed to the committee’s investigation of the 2009 Fort Hood terrorist attack. He has worked on cybersecurity and homeland security issues for close to 20 years, including positions at IBM, the Center for Strategic and International Studies and the O’Gara Company.

Beckner holds a bachelor’s degree in international relations from Stanford University and a master’s degree in foreign service and an MBA, both from Georgetown University.

About NRF
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 $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

National Retail Federation: Retail industry employment saw a modest decline in September

WASHINGTON, 2017-Oct-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Retail industry employment saw a modest decline in September, decreasing 4,600 jobs from revised August figures, the National Retail Federation said today (October 6, 2017). The number excludes automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The economy overall saw a loss of 33,000 jobs in September.

“The recent hurricanes have caused distortions to economic figures and September employment numbers are likely to undergo dramatic revisions,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “The silver lining is that hourly wages continue to gradually increase, giving households more spending power as the all-important holiday season approaches. Overall, the underlying momentum of the economy and the strength of the labor market remains firm.”

Kleinhenz noted that retail job numbers reported by the Labor Department don’t paint an entirely accurate picture of the industry because they count only employees who work in stores while excluding retail workers in other parts of the business like corporate headquarters, distribution centers, call centers and innovation labs.

Economy-wide, average hourly earnings have increased by 74 cents – 2.9 percent – over the past 12 months.  The Labor Department said the unemployment rate decreased to 4.2 percent, down from 4.4 percent in August.

About NRF
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 $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:

Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

National Retail Federation supports William Emanuel as National Labor Relations Board nominee

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-30 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today offered support for William Emanuel, President Trump’s latest nominee for the National Labor Relations Board, and urged the Senate to swiftly confirm both Emanuel and Trump’s earlier nominee, Marvin Kaplan.

“Mr. Emanuel is a highly qualified and well-respected labor attorney who will bring decades of relevant expertise to the board,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “Retailers are confident that he will be a fair arbiter of the law and urge the Senate to confirm him promptly.”

“Over the past eight years, the retail industry and employers across the country have faced a crushing regulatory burden that has created immense uncertainty in labor relations and made it much harder to grow,” French said. “Much of this uncertainty has stemmed from the NLRB’s pursuit of an activist agenda that consistently put the interests of labor unions before the rights of employers and employees. Both job creators and employees will benefit from a more balanced approach in labor relations.”

Emanuel and Kaplan would fill the two current vacancies on the five-member board.

In recent years, retailers have been burdened by NLRB decisions on policies such as the joint-employer standard, micro-unions and changes to union election procedures.

About NRF
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 $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

SOURCE: National Retail Federation

MEDIA CONTACT

Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

National Retail Federation welcomes Cristina Ceresoli as senior vice president for retail strategy

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Cristina Ceresoli, former vice president of marketing and public relations at Express, will be joining the National Retail Federation as senior vice president for retail strategy. At Express — a leading specialty retailer for men and women — Ceresoli managed the content marketing practice including consumer experience, data-driven insights and communication evolution.

“At a time of great challenge and opportunity in the retail industry, Cristina’s background, knowledge and expertise in retail — particularly in consumer behavior patterns that drive brand advocacy in an omnichannel world — will be invaluable to our organization and to our members,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We are extremely excited to have Cristina joining the NRF team.”

As the SVP for retail strategy, Ceresoli will have a broad platform to speak on behalf of the industry and will help guide NRF’s product offering and event content strategy. With her deep experience in the industry she will serve as an internal advisor on retail industry operations and strategies as a member of the management team. She will also provide the tools and resources to support the industry’s digital expansion.

“I am truly looking forward to working on behalf of an industry that is dynamic and innovative and leads the experience revolution for the benefit of their employees, customers and the communities they serve,” Ceresoli said.

Ceresoli also served as vice president of e-commerce merchandising at Express, where she grew the business from single-digit penetration to its current 21 percent of sales. She also launched a new and exclusive apparel businesses for Express while leading early exploration of content and commerce optimization.

Prior to Express, Ceresoli held merchandising leadership positions at Abercrombie & Fitch, Victoria’s Secret and Aeropostale. She began her career as an early employee of E-Lab, a pioneer in turning firsthand customer insights into innovative products and experiences. She progressed that work at Sapient, a leader in digital business transformation, where she helped drive the internet experience practice, using evolving human behavior to inform innovative business and technology solutions.

Ceresoli earned her MBA at Columbia Business School, and served for many years as an adjunct professor at Parsons, The New School in the Strategic Design and Management Program.

Berglass and Associates assisted in the executive search.

About NRF
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 $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:
Treacy Reynolds
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

The National Retail Federation announces the retirement of SVP and General Counsel Mallory Duncan

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (June 21, 2017) announced the retirement of Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan, a veteran lawyer and lobbyist who has guided the retail industry through legal, legislative and regulatory battles over credit card fees, bankruptcy law, privacy issues and other topics for more than two decades.

“Whether you’re appealing to the Supreme Court, testifying before Congress or meeting at the White House, Mallory is the lawyer you want by your side,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “There is no brighter legal mind in the retail industry, and nobody understands the complexities and nuances of the issues he follows better than he does. He has been indispensable to me as a trusted advisor and I am sorry to see him go.”

“Working in the retail industry has given me the opportunity to play an exciting part in some of the most interesting issues of our day,” Duncan said. “Retail isn’t just stores and shopping. It’s about the economy, jobs and public policy issues that run the gamut from taxes to trade. I’ve spent the biggest part of my career representing retailers, but a large part of that is improving retailers’ ability to serve everyday consumers. I’d like to think I’ve helped restore the alignment of Main Street retailers and their customers against unfair practices that threaten them both.”

Duncan will leave NRF at the end of August but will continue to provide counsel on payments and other issues as a consultant.

“Mallory informed me earlier this year of his intention to retire at the end of the summer, and we have been actively engaged in searching for his successor,” Shay said. “We expect to make an announcement soon.”

Duncan joined NRF as general counsel in 1994. As such, he is responsible for all of NRF’s legal affairs, both directly and through coordination of outside counsel. As a member of the NRF executive team, he helps execute the federation’s strategic mission of advocacy, communications and education on behalf of the industry. He also manages the NRF General Counsels Forum, which is made up of chief legal officers at many of the nation’s best-known retail companies.

Duncan is best known as one of the retail industry’s leading voices for reform of credit card industry fees, rules and practices to make the card industry more transparent and competitive, an area where he has played a significant role since the mid-1990s. The announcement of his retirement comes after NRF’s recent victory in convincing the House to drop efforts to repeal reform of debit card swipe fees. In recent years, Duncan headed NRF’s legal challenge of the Federal Reserve’s 2011 cap on debit card swipe fees as too high and another legal action that said a record-setting $7.25 billion settlement with banks over credit card swipe fees in 2012 was too low. Both cases went to the U.S. Supreme Court, which let the debit swipe cap stand but returned the credit card case to the trial court for additional proceedings.

Prior to joining NRF, Duncan served as senior counsel in the Washington office of J.C. Penney, where he advised the company on state and federal legislative and regulatory issues. He was previously a senior attorney in the Office of Policy Planning at the Federal Trade Commission, where he wrote the commission’s Policy Guidance on Civil Penalties, and was an associate at the law firm of Sutherland, Asbill and Brennan. The Los Angeles native is a graduate of Pomona College and Yale Law School.

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 $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

Contact:
J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

Retail Council of Canada to host STORE 2017 Conference on May 30-31 at the Toronto Congress Centre

CANADA, 2017-May-04 — /EPR Retail News/ — With technology, evolving consumerism and political disruption reshaping retail, retailers’ needs for inventive approaches are unsurpassed. These highly topical concerns will be explored by the most respected retail leaders from across North America at Retail Council of Canada’s (RCC) STORE 2017 Conference on May 30 and May 31st at the Toronto Congress Centre.

The much-anticipated details of the full agenda have just been released.  To see full agenda, click here.

STORE 2017 is Canada’s biggest retail event of the year, and is the must-attend conference for the retail industry and their partners.

Packed with more than 80 speakers – representing the “who’s who” of retail in North America – this year’s two-day conference will bring together over 2000 delegates, identify critical trends and shifts in retail and provide retailers and their partners with information, contacts, strategies and tactics for ongoing success.

“What’s more prevalent this year is how the global impact of technology, changing consumer shopping preferences and political disruption is directly affecting retailers in Canada”, said Kyle Tomlin, Vice President Education and Events. “This year’s conference topics and speakers will talk to some of the really tough questions and provide a range of unexpected perspectives that retailers can immediately bring to their teams.”

The conference has been structure to provide retailers with the choice of attending both provocative keynote presentations that cover matters affecting all retailers – including a special interview with Matt Shay, President of the National Retail Federation, the largest retail association in the world – as well as concurrent sessions that focus on store operations, marketing, merchant and supply chain, and digital and mobile.  Content at STORE 2017 is also developed so regardless of a retailer’s size or type, whether large, medium or and independent, mass merchant, apparel or grocery, there is a stream with relevant topics.  For example, the entire afternoon on the second day of the conference dedicated to grocery.

Speakers at STORE 2017 will include:

Duncan Fulton, President, FGL Sports who will talk about preparing for the new world of retail.
Sylvain Prud’homme, President & CEO, Lowe’s Canada, will talk publically for the first time since Lowe’s acquired RONA.
Kamy Scarlett, Senior Vice President, Retail and Chief Human Resources Officer and Thierry Hay-Sabourin Senior Vice President, eCommerce from Best Buy will talk about how they built Best Buy’s “clicks and bricks” strategy by bringing vertical business lines together and the role it plays in driving staff, customers and business strategy forward.
Matt Shay, President, National Retail Federation will discuss global forces, times of change and their influence on retail.
Doug Stephens, Founder of Retail Prophet will explain how the customer journey will need to be re-invented so it is unique, multi-layer, personal and impactful.
Michelle Romanow, CBC’s Dragon’s Den “Dragon” and Co-Founder of Snap by Groupon will talk to three current retail disruptors about their business models, why they work and why disruption will continue in retail for the foreseeable future. Michelle will speak with Nicole Tapscott, General Manager, Casper, Deborah Poole, General Manager, Wayfair Canada, and Ben Zifkin, Founder & CEO, HUBBA.

Record numbers of participants have already registered for STORE 2017, which will be held on May 30 and May 31 at the Toronto Congress Centre.  For full information and to register, visit https://www.storeconference.ca/

About Retail Council of Canada:

Retail is Canada’s largest employer with 2.2 million Canadians working in our industry. The sector annually generates payroll of $60 billion and approximately $350 billion in sales (excluding vehicles and gasoline). As of 2016, Retail Council of Canada (RCC) members represent more than two thirds of retail sales in the country. RCC is a not-for-profit industry-funded association and represents small, medium and large retail business in every community across the country. As the Voice of Retail™ in Canada, we proudly represent more than 45,000 storefronts in all retail formats, including department, grocery, specialty, discount, independent retailers and online merchants. www.RetailCouncil.org

SOURCE: Retail Council of Canada

Contacts:

Call us 1-888-373-8245
Email us info@retailcouncil.org

National Retail Federation to name Nike Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker The Visionary 2017

Washington, 2016-Dec-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (December 19, 2016) announced that it will name Nike Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker “The Visionary,” a new honor intended to recognize outstanding retail industry leaders, during the 2017 NRF Foundation Gala January 15 in New York City.

“There aren’t many trailblazers like Mark Parker in the retail industry or the entire business world,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Here’s a guy who took his love for running and footwear design and turned it into a successful career with one of the most iconic brands of our time. He is a leader, an innovator and a designer, and he epitomizes everything The Visionary stands for.”

NRF this year consolidated its former Gold Medal, Innovator of the Year and International Retailer of theYear — the most prestigious honors in the retail industry —  into The Visionary award. The Visionary will be awarded annually to an inspiring leader with a long record of spearheading change in the industry. Each year, prominent retail executives will identify an individual who is a disruptor, dreamer, giver, influencer and power player who has changed and continues to transform the landscape of retail in a monumental way.

“I’m honored and humbled to receive this special recognition from NRF, and I’m proud to be part of the team that is leading the transformation of sport retail,” Nike Chairman, President and CEO Mark Parker said. “With innovative retail experiences around the globe, we want consumers to get the very best of Nike in both our own stores and from our wholesale partners. Being a better retailer makes us a better partner, company and Brand, and allows us to deliver on our promise to personalize performance for every athlete, everywhere.”

Parker joined Nike as a footwear designer in 1979 and has been at the center of Nike’s innovation ever since. In his more than 30 years with the company, Parker has served as vice president of consumer product marketing, vice president of global footwear Parker has more than doubled Nike’s revenue.

During Parker’s tenure, he has developed several industry breakthroughs — including Nike Air, Nike Lunarlon, Nike Flyknit and Dri-FIT. This year, Parker played a key design role on the Nike HyperAdapt 1.0, the first-ever self-lacing shoe.

At the same time, Parker has accelerated innovation and growth across the entire company. Nike has formed partnerships with the NFL, MLB and U.S. Olympic Committee, and next year, will become the official apparel provider of the NBA. Through the Nike+ ecosystem, Parker has overseen Nike’s digital investments from the Apple Watch Nike+ to the expansion of Nike.com to more than 40 countries. And, despite the company’s global growth, Parker has committed to a bold sustainability goal: to double Nike’s business while halving its environmental impact.

Parker will be recognized during the NRF Foundation Gala, an annual event where retail leaders unite to celebrate the industry, support the next generation of talent and recognize the achievements of the people shaping retail today and who invest in tomorrow by giving back. Parker will be one of many retail leaders present at the event, including 2017 honorees on The List of People Shaping Retail’s Future.

The second annual NRF Foundation Gala in January 2016 raised $1.65 million for scholarships, programs and initiatives. Those seeking to participate in the Gala can find more information at nrf.com/gala. Media interested in covering the event should contact NRF’s media team at press@nrf.com.

About NRF
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 $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.

About NIKE, Inc.
NIKE Inc., based near Beaverton, Ore., is the world’s leading designer, marketer and distributor of authentic athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for a wide variety of sports and fitness activities. Wholly owned NIKE Inc. subsidiaries include Converse Inc., which designs, markets and distributes athletic lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories; and Hurley International LLC, which designs, markets and distributes surf and youth lifestyle footwear, apparel and accessories. For more information, Nike’s earnings releases and other financial information are available at http://investors.nike.com. Individuals can also visit http://news.nike.com and follow @Nike.

Contact:

Ana Serafin Smith
(202) 626-8189
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Source: NRF

National Retail Federation on DOL’s overtime rules: hundreds of thousands of career professionals will lose their status as salaried employees

Retailers Appeal to Congress to Block Overtime Expansion

WASHINGTON, 2016-May-20 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today released the following statement from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French in response to the Department of Labor’s new overtime rules:

“These rules are a career killer. With the stroke of a pen, the Labor Department is demoting millions of workers. In the retail sector alone, hundreds of thousands of career professionals will lose their status as salaried employees and find themselves reclassified as hourly workers, depriving them of the workplace flexibility and other benefits they so highly-value. And the one-size-fits-all approach means businesses trying to make ends meet in small towns across America are now expected to pay the same salaries as those in New York City.”

“These regulations are full of false promises. Most of the people impacted by this change will not see any additional pay. Instead, this sudden and extraordinary increase will mean more red tape and fewer advancement opportunities for salaried professionals. In the real world – as opposed to D.C. conference rooms filled with career bureaucrats and political appointees – employers and employees will suffer the consequences of a policy rooted in pure politics.

“Of course, the devil is in the details, but this fight is far from over. NRF will continue to advocate alongside our congressional allies for realistic workplace policies. Overtime regulations need to be sensitive to cost-of-living differences throughout the country, moderate enough that they don’t block the career ambitions of young people and middle managers working to climb the career ladder, and gradual enough that business owners can implement them without penalizing the very people they were intended to help.”

Research conducted for NRF shows that the rules will force employers to limit hours or cut base pay in order to make up for the added payroll costs of overtime expansion, leaving most workers with no increase in take-home pay despite added administrative costs. A separate survey found that the majority of retail managers and assistant managers the new regulations are supposed to help oppose the plan.

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 $2.6 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. nrf.com

Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

National Retail Federation: cap on debit card swipe fees should be lowered further

WASHINGTON, 2016-Mar-29 — /EPR Retail News/ — A cap on debit card swipe fees enacted by the Federal Reserve five years ago has helped reduce costs for retailers and consumers but is still higher than intended by Congress and should be lowered, the National Retail Federation said today.

“In most cases, 24 cents per transaction represents a significant savings over the prior non-competitive pricing,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “However, it is still substantially higher than issuers’ incremental costs.”

Duncan said the cap “has worked moderately well” but that “additional changes are necessary” if Congress’ goal of swipe fees that are proportional to banks’ costs for processing transactions is to be realized.

Retailers have passed along two-thirds of the $8.5 billion in annual savings to consumers but there would have been more savings to share if the Fed had set the cap at the level expected by lawmakers, Duncan said.

Duncan’s comments came in a letter to the Federal Reserve, which is reviewing the cap under requirements of the federal Paperwork Reduction Act.

Under the Dodd-Frank Consumer Protection and Wall Street Reform Act of 2010, the Federal Reserve was required to adopt regulations that would result in debit swipe fees that were “reasonable and proportional” to the actual cost of processing a transaction. Federal Reserve staff calculated the average cost at 4 cents per transaction and proposed a cap no higher than 12 cents. Nonetheless, after heavy lobbying from banks the Federal Reserve Board of Governors eventually settled on 21 cents plus 0.05 percent of the transaction for fraud recovery and allowed another 1 cent for fraud prevention in most cases. The cap, which applies only to financial institutions with $10 billion or more in assets,  took effect in 2011 and totals about 24 cents on a typical debit card transaction.

While lower than the average of 45 cents before the cap was set, NRF argued that the cap included costs that went beyond those allowed under the legislation and filed suit against the Fed in U.S. District Court in 2011. A judge ruled in NRF’s favor and ordered the Fed to recalculate the cap, but an appeals court overturned the ruling and the U.S. Supreme Court refused to grant NRF’s petition to review the case.

Duncan said the shift of more fraud liability to merchants last fall under the conversion to Europay MasterCard Visa chip-and-signature cards is evidence that the 0.05 percent for fraud recovery “may no longer have a legitimate basis.”

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 $2.6 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. NRF.com

J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

National Retail Federation supports customs reauthorization bill

Washington, DC, 2016-Feb-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation sent a letter  to Senate leadership  voicing strong support for a customs reauthorization bill scheduled for action today, saying it may include votes on the measure in its annual voting scorecard.

“As major importers, retailers rely on efficient supply chain operations. This includes ensuring legitimate cargo is able to be quickly processed through our nation’s borders,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French wrote.  “Modernizing CBP operations is essential in the ever-increasing global economy. The elements within TFTEA will provide CBP with the tools needed to ensure companies can continue to compete in the global economy.”

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 $2.6 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. nrf.com

SOURCE: National Retail Federation

Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Starbucks anticipates record purchases of Starbucks Cards on Dec. 24

SEATTLE, 2015-12-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — As customers finalize their holiday shopping, Starbucks anticipates record purchases of Starbucks Cards on Dec. 24, citing the trend for customers to make their gift card purchases at the last minute.

Last year, nearly 2.5 million Starbucks Cards were purchased in the U.S. and Canada on Christmas Eve – representing approximately 1,700 cards purchased per minute. One in seven American adults received a Starbucks Card last holiday season, and Starbucks is on track for another record performance in Starbucks Card sales.

The National Retail Federation* reports that 58.8 percent of shoppers said they would like to receive a gift card, making it the most requested gift item nine years in a row.  Since Starbucks® Card launched 15 years ago, more than $25 billion has been loaded on Starbucks Cards in the U.S. and Canada alone, with $5.1 billion loaded onto Starbucks Cards in the past fiscal year (Oct 2014 – Sept 2015), and of that total, a record $1.6 billion loaded onto Starbucks Cards in three months (October 2014 through December2014). Starbucks sees the benefits of this increased activity in stores as gift cards received over the holiday season are redeemed.

Today, more than one-third of all transactions in the U.S. and Canada are paid for with a Starbucks Card, and Starbucks Cards are available in more than 31 countries worldwide, with planned expansion in 2016. Starbucks Cards are the gift that keeps on giving. When customers register a Starbucks Card with My Starbucks Rewards® they can start earning stars for purchases at participating stores that can be redeemed year-round for Starbucks beverages and food. Some restrictions apply. Details can be found at www.starbucks.com/rewards.

Starbucks Card Assortment

This holiday season Starbucks is offering more than 60 different gift card designs, from classic holiday themes to whimsical creations from the Starbucks in-house design team. Customers can mix and match for coworkers, teachers, as stocking stuffers, and for any other Starbucks lover in their life.

For ultimate Starbucks fans looking for an exclusive gift, the Starbucks 2015 Premium Card Collection includes three stainless steel cards embellished with Swarovski Crystals. The collection includes two key-chain sized cards, the Silver Crystal Starbucks Card and Champagne Crystal Starbucks Card and a wallet-sized Deep-Blue Crystal Starbucks Card. These premium gifts and are available in limited quantities in select Starbucks® stores in the US and Canada and on Starbucks.com/shop while supplies last. All cards are $200 (plus tax) and come loaded with $50.

Beginning at $5.00, and available in customized amounts up to $500, Starbucks Cards can be purchased at any company-operated location in the U.S. or Canada in a variety of formats and designs, and digital gift cards can be given through the company’s website (www.starbucks.com/shop/card/egift) and mobile apps in the U.S.

Starbucks for Life

The chance to win Starbucks for Life is back with a twist. This holiday season the Starbucks for Life sweepstakes is open exclusively to My Starbucks Rewards® members.

When a My Starbucks Rewards® member pays for their purchase in participating U.S. and Canada stores using a registered card or the Starbucks® Mobile App, he or she receives one game play. The member then goes to starbucksforlife.com and logs in using their My Starbucks Rewards credentials. The customer will then play for the chance to win instant prizes, like bonus stars, or a game piece to place on their mobile game board for the chance to win Starbucks for a day, a week, a month or the grand prize, Starbucks for Life. The sweepstakes runs now to January 11, 2016.

Last year, over a 31-day period, more than 2.3 million customers entered the “It’s a Wonderful Card” sweepstakes, and 10 lucky customers won Starbucks for Life in the U.S. Those 10 winners also received the ultimate Starbucks Card, which not only provides them with Starbucks for Life, but is also a piece of Starbucks history. With an estimated retail value of $5,000, the card is made of 10K hammered gold and is engraved with the winner’s name. This year only seven people will win Starbucks for Life (five in the U.S. and two in Canada), and they will also receive the ultimate Starbucks Card. Only 21 ultimate Starbucks Cards have been made, making it the most exclusive Starbucks Card.

*National Retail Federation (NRF), November 17, 2015

Starbucks for Life Rules

Abbreviated rules for US: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  LEGAL RESIDENTS OF THE 50 UNITED STATES (D.C) 18 AND OLDER AND WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE MY STARBUCKS REWARDS® LOYALTY PROGRAM AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.  Participating stores only.  Promotion ends 1/11/16.  “Starbucks for Life” means the winner will receive a daily credit for 30 years for one free food or beverage item redeemable at participating Starbucks® stores in the U.S. Starbucks Evenings menu items excluded.  Winner must present a registered Starbucks Card.  Credits are non-transferrable and expire within 24 hours. For official rules, how to enter without purchase, prizes and odds, visit http://starbucksforlife.com.  Sponsor:  Starbucks Corporation, 2401 Utah Ave., S., Seattle, WA 981034.  Limit of one (1) instant-win-game prize per day.

Abbreviated rules for Canada: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY.  A PURCHASE WILL NOT INCREASE YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING.  LEGAL RESIDENTS OF CANADA 18 AND OLDER AND WHO ARE MEMBERS OF THE MY STARBUCKS REWARDS® LOYALTY PROGRAM AT THE TIME OF ENTRY.  VOID WHERE PROHIBITED.  Participating stores only.  Promotion ends 1/11/16.  “Starbucks for Life” means the winner will receive a daily credit for 30 years for one free food or beverage item redeemable at participating Starbucks® stores in Canada. Starbucks Evenings menu items excluded.  Winner must present a registered Starbucks Card.  Credits are non-transferrable and expire within 24 hours. For official rules, how to enter without purchase, prizes and odds, visit http://starbucksforlife.ca.  Sponsor:  Starbucks Coffee Canada, 5140 Yonge Street, Suite 1205, Toronto, ON M2N 6L7, Canada.  Limit of one (1) instant-win-game prize per day.

For more information on this news release, contact us.

SOURCE: Starbucks Corporation

 

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Starbucks anticipates record purchases of Starbucks Cards on Dec. 24

Starbucks anticipates record purchases of Starbucks Cards on Dec. 24

Retail Litigation Center (RLC), National Restaurant Association and National Retail Federation urge the court to vacate FCC’s Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) ruling

WASHINGTON, 2015-12-7 — /EPR Retail News/ — In an amicus brief filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, the Retail Litigation Center (RLC), the National Restaurant Association and the National Retail Federation urge the court to vacate two provisions of the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC’s) July 2015 Order that reinterprets the obligations of businesses under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA). The retailers argue that the FCC’s Order encourages lawyer-driven litigation that threatens the ability of retailers to engage in legitimate business communications with consumers.

Signed into law in 1991, the TCPA aimed to protect consumers from unwanted, harassing “robo-calls.”  However, last summer, the FCC issued a ruling that dramatically disrupted the important balance that the TCPA strikes between protecting consumer privacy and the opportunity for businesses to conduct legitimate commercial communications.

Specifically, the Order holds callers liable for calls or texts unknowingly placed to “recycled” numbers that have been reassigned by a wireless carrier from a consumer who provided consent to a new consumer who has not provided consent. The Order also prevents businesses from maintaining a standard procedure for consumers to opt-out of messages.

According to the brief:

“Retailers endeavor to provide their customers with the information they want, when and how they want it.  Properly construed, the TCPA should be no barrier to such consented-to communications.  The Commission, however, has interpreted the statute in ways that will chill such beneficial communications, while arbitrarily subjecting retailers and other legitimate businesses to liability for good-faith conduct.”

“On issue after issue, the FCC adopted interpretations of the statute divorced from technological and commercial realities. The result will be even more litigation, much of it seeking to recover significant damages from businesses for their failure to do the impossible.”

“The fact that the FCC made the straight-faced suggestion that businesses should sue their own customers for failure to update their contact information shows just how far afield from commercial realities the agency has traveled when construing the TCPA.”

“Agency action that imposes impossible standards of conduct is the epitome of arbitrary and capricious decisionmaking”

The brief, drafted by, Joseph R. Palmore and Seth W. Lloyd of Morrison & Foerster LLP, can be read here.

The Retail Litigation Center is a public policy organization that identifies and engages in legal proceedings which affect the retail industry. The RLC, whose members include some of the country’s largest retailers, was formed to provide courts with retail industry perspectives on significant legal issues, and highlight the potential industry-wide consequences of legal principles that may be determined in pending cases.

Founded in 1919, the National Restaurant Association is the leading business association for the restaurant industry, which comprises one million restaurant and foodservice outlets and a workforce of 14 million employees. The Association represents the industry in Washington, D.C., and advocates on its behalf. Despite being an industry of predominately small businesses, the restaurant industry is the nation’s second-largest private-sector employer, employing about 10 percent of the U.S. workforce. 

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 $2.6 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. nrf.com

Robin Roberts
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Barbie back on top of National Retail Federation’s Top Toys list for 2015 holiday season

Star Wars Toys Also Land in Top 10 for Both Boys and Girls

WASHINGTON, 2015-11-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — After losing her crown to Disney’s Frozen characters in 2014, Barbie is back on top of the National Retail Federation’s Top Toys list for the 2015 holiday season. The survey, which is conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, asks holiday shoppers what toys they plan to buy for the children in their life and among those with their shopping lists already prepared, one in five (21.2%) will purchase a Barbie for the little girls on their lists; another 13 percent of adults will buy toys related to Disney’s Frozen.

The survey also found that Star Wars mania is clearly on the minds of children everywhere as adults ranked Star Wars toys as something they would buy for both boys (11.7%) and girls (1.9%). Star Wars jumped to the No. 2 spot on the boys list from No. 15 last year.

NRF’s Holiday Spending Survey found that 41.2 percent of shoppers plan to buy toys this holiday season.

“Retailers are already offering an array of exclusive and unique toy options for parents and adults to choose from this holiday season, including high-end electronic and educational toys, board games and even the classics like LEGOs,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “We know retailers are ready with an array of toy options when it comes to finding what they want over Thanksgiving weekend and all season long.”

The survey found Monster High items, American Girl and My Little Pony products were also popular with those planning to shop for little girls this holiday season.

LEGO toys kept their hold as the most-requested item among boys this year with 12.2 percent of adults planning to buy LEGOs. Cars and trucks, video games, Hot Wheels and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were a few other hot items listed on the boys’ toy list.

“Timeless brands like LEGO and Barbie will forever resonate with both children and the adults in their life who grew up playing with those same toys,” said Prosper’s Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow. “Given the easy access to top toys this holiday season and retailers’ hard-to-pass-up promotions, this is likely to be a big year for the toy category.”

Top Toys List

TOP 10 TOYS FOR BOYS
LEGO
Star Wars
Cars & Trucks
Video Games
Hot Wheels
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles
Xbox One
PlayStation 4
Nerf
10 Marvel Action Figures

TOP 10 TOYS FOR GIRLS

Barbie
Disney’s Frozen
Dolls
Monster High
American Girl
My Little Pony
Shopkins
LEGO
Disney Princess
10 Star Wars

About the Survey
The NRF 2015 Holiday Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey was designed to gauge consumer behavior and shopping trends related to the winter holidays. The survey polled 7,172 consumers and was conducted for NRF by Prosper Insights & Analytics November 3-10, 2015. The consumer poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Prosper Insights and Analytics delivers executives timely, consumer-centric insights from multiple sources. As a comprehensive resource of information, Prosper represents the voice of the consumer and provides knowledge to marketers regarding consumer views on the economy, personal finance, retail, lifestyle, media and domestic and world issues. www.ProsperDiscovery.com

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 $2.6 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. nrf.com

Kathy Grannis Allen
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

Office Depot announced its “Gear Up for Gifting” holiday campaign

BOCA RATON, Fla., 2015-10-28 — /EPR Retail News/ — Office Depot, Inc., a leading global provider of office products, services, and solutions and parent company of Office Depot and OfficeMax, today announced its “Gear Up for Gifting” holiday campaign at all retail stores and at officedepot.com/holiday with early Black Friday deals, special holiday fashion collections, free delivery for qualifying $35 online orders1, and mailing and shipping services.

“Office Depot offers products and services to help holiday shoppers ‘Gear Up for Gifting’,” said Tim Rea, executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Office Depot, Inc. “We’re excited to share gift collections that make it convenient to shop and give personalized gifts this holiday season.”

Early Black Friday and “Every Monday is Cyber Monday” deals

According to the National Retail Federation, approximately 40 percent of consumers begin their holiday shoppingbefore Halloween each year. To accommodate so many early shoppers, Office Depot and OfficeMax will unveil exclusive daily and weekly product deals from its most desirable shopping categories including technology, printers, and furniture alongside other business and home office supplies.

Whether in store or online, customers will find a great gift at a great value any day of the week with the company’s Early Black Friday deals available starting on Sunday, Nov. 8 and “Every Monday is Cyber Monday” online deals on Nov. 2, 9, 16, and 23.2 Additional Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals will be announced soon. Customers can sign up for alerts to receive notifications about Black Friday in-store and online deals and events at officedepot.com/blackfriday. Cyber Monday deals at officedepot.com/cybermonday will be valid starting Sunday, Nov. 29.

Early Black Friday deals on high-performing laptops at great prices, available both online and in stores, include:

Valid Nov. 8-14

  • Toshiba laptop bundle for $329.99 (regular price $549.98; save $220)
    • Includes Toshiba laptop, Microsoft Office 365, Windows 10, 16GB USB flash drive and wireless mouse
  • Toshiba Satellite C55D laptop for $219.99 after $130 instant savings and $50 mail-in Visa pre-paid card
  • Lexar 32GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive for $9.99 (regular price $39.99; save $30)
    • Up to 10 times faster than USB 2.0 drive
  • All printers on sale (in stores only), including the HP Envy 5534 for $79.99 (regular price $129.99; save $50)
    • Exclusively at Office Depot and OfficeMax stores
    • Features wireless print, copy, and scan

Valid Nov. 15-21

  • Lowest price ever, Toshiba Satellite C55 laptop with 8 GB memory and Intel® Core™ i3 Processor for only $349.99 (regular price $549.99; after $150 instant savings & $50 mail-in Visa pre-paid card
  • Lenovo Tab 2 A8 Tablet for $99.99 (regular price $159.99; save $60)
  • 50% off HP Envy 4500, $49.99 (regular price $99.99; save $50)
    • Features wireless print, copy, and scan

Exclusive holiday collections and personalized gifts

For your hard to shop for co-worker, Office Depot and OfficeMax’s Co-worker Collection delivers the perfect dose of snarky wit and thoughtful humor to complement gifts that fit everyone’s personality. Coming soon to an Office Depot or an OfficeMax retail store near you, find the best gift and accompanying tagline, especially relevant for your co-workers starting Nov. 1.

Gift your family and friends with the most fashionable gear this holiday season. The Divoga® brand fashion collections, exclusively at Office Depot and OfficeMax, are ideal for all go-to holiday gear. Cozy Cabin offers everything from notecards and ear buds to phone cases and tablet sleeves in warm, holiday patterns, with pops of gold to add a little sparkle to your gear. Merry & Bright includes charming, must-have products decorated with bright, wintry colors and playful prints to inspire the holiday season.

Gift givers can count on Office Depot and OfficeMax’s Copy & Print Center to create personalized gifts such as holiday cards for businesses and families, customized calendars and photo gifts, such as personalized smartphone cases, tablet covers, ornaments and canvas gifts.

Office Depot and OfficeMax offer a wide selection of gifts for everyone on your holiday list. Whether you need a gift for someone in the office, a client, family member or friend, or even an impulse buy for yourself, Office Depot and OfficeMax have all the business and home office essentials, technology products and accessories you need. Shop for even more holiday gifts online at officedepot.com/holiday.

Shopper services: Free delivery and mailing and shipping services

Now, Office Depot and OfficeMax customers are eligible to receive free shipping for qualifying online purchases of $35 or more, making it fast and easy to shop from the comfort of home.

Take advantage of mailing and shipping services to drop off or ship UPS, FedEx and U.S. Postal Service packages to national, international and military base locations. And, extended hours offer night and weekend drop off to mail and ship packages. Plus, ground, express and overnight options accommodate timely shipping for last-minute purchases.

Elf Yourself® this holiday season

The annual holiday tradition, Elf Yourself®, is back this year with more ways to brighten the season. The popular dancing elves have new grooves and a few festive surprises that are sure to bring a smile to your friends and family when the updated app launches soon. The Elf Yourself® season will start Nov. 1 to surprise and delight all; Download the Elf Yourself app or share it with a friend, family member or colleague for some light-hearted holiday fun.

About Office Depot, Inc.
Office Depot, Inc. is a leading global provider of products, services, and solutions for every workplace – whether your workplace is an office, home, school or car.

Office Depot, Inc. is a resource and a catalyst to help customers work better. We are a single source for everything customers need to be more productive, including the latest technology, core office supplies, print and document services, business services, facilities products, furniture, and school essentials.

The company has annual sales of approximately $16 billion, employs approximately 56,000 associates, and serves consumers and businesses in 59 countries with approximately 1,800 retail stores, award-winning e-commerce sites and a dedicated business-to-business sales organization – all delivered through a global network of wholly owned operations, joint ventures, franchisees, licensees and alliance partners. The company operates under several banner brands including Office Depot, OfficeMax, OfficeMax Grand & Toy, Reliable and Viking. The company’s portfolio of exclusive product brands include TUL, Foray, Brenton Studio, Ativa, WorkPro, Realspace and HighMark.

Office Depot, Inc.’s common stock is listed on the NASDAQ Global Select Market under the symbol ODP. Additional press information can be found at: http://news.officedepot.com.

¹Place a qualifying order of $35 or more with OfficeDepot.com, and if you’re in one of our many local delivery areas, your delivery will be FREE. Minimum purchase required is calculated after discounts and before taxes are applied. Most furniture, oversize and special order items are excluded. Other restrictions may apply. Visit officedepot.com/delivery for details.

²While supplies last

Office Depot, Inc.
Julianne Embry, 561-438-1451
julianne.embry@officedepot.com
or
Sarah England, 561-438-1448
sarah.england@officedepot.com

SOURCE: Office DEPOT® | OfficeMax®

Mark Mathews appointed VP research development and industry analysis National Retail Federation

Mathews to Lead Newly-Announced Retail Research and Analysis Center

WASHINGTON, D.C. 2015-6-3 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today announced the hiring of Mark Mathews as vice president of research development and industry analysis. Mathews will develop, evaluate and direct research initiatives for NRF’s Retail Research and Analysis Center which was announced in April. Mathews brings more than two decades of research strategy and management experience to his new post.

“In today’s fast-paced, technology-based economy, retail is moving at lightning speed and the industry needs real-time, forward-thinking research to address challenges and identify opportunities,” said Ellen Davis, senior vice president of research and strategic initiatives at the National Retail Federation and the executive director of the NRF Foundation. “Mark’s tenure leading research efforts on some of the world’s biggest issues makes him the perfect person to lead and expand NRF’s work in this space.”

Most recently, Mathews led the Market Intelligence Group (MIG) at the World Gold Council as a member of the organization’s leadership team, where he established the Council as the standard bearer for research and analysis in the gold industry. Prior to joining the Council, Mathews ran the research team at Palamon Capital Partners, a London-based private equity firm that manages $1.4 billion in equity capital. Earlier in his career Mathews worked at the NASDAQ Stock Market where he was managing director, research and head of strategic planning for NASDAQ’s international operations.

“NRF has long been the go-to for retail industry and consumer research,” Davis said. “Mark’s work will expand our portfolio — specifically in the areas of the economy and legislative and regulatory policy — and elevate our research to new levels.”

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 $2.6 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. nrf.com

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Treacy Reynolds
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

National Retail Federation creates multimillion-dollar department within its organization focused on industry research

WASHINGTON, 2015-4-13 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today the National Retail Federation announced a multimillion-dollar investment to form a new department within the organization focusing on industry research. The Retail Research and Analysis Center will bring together all existing research within NRF and expand upon the wide range of issue areas and trends already studied. The Center will focus on four main areas: the economy, legislative and regulatory policy, the retail industry and consumers.

“NRF is at the forefront of research and analysis that impact our industry, the consumers it serves and the economy in which it operates,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “By significantly investing in the future expansion and scope of NRF research, our members will have additional tools and insight as they operate in a very dynamic marketplace. And, our advocates will have the facts they need to advance retail’s policy agenda.”

Shay announced that Ellen Davis will now serve as NRF’s senior vice president of research and strategic initiatives. Davis will also continue to function as executive director of the NRF Foundation.

“It is extremely exciting to be a part of building upon one of the core services we provide to our members, the media, analysts and decision makers,” Davis said. “Studies, surveys, white papers and critical analysis by industry leaders help us frame policy debates, identify trends, and change perceptions about retail’s evolution. As the nation’s largest private-sector employer and an industry that contributes $2.6 trillion dollars annually to the U.S. GDP, the retail industry impacts all sectors of our economy and is uniquely positioned to provide business insights and analysis to shape key debates in Washington.”

NRF has started an extensive search for a vice president of research development and industry analysis, reporting to Davis. Current staff and consultant resources are being utilized and additional dedicated staffing is anticipated.

“NRF is an acknowledged leader in advocacy, research, education and analysis. The formation and funding of the Retail Research and Analysis Center will allow us to take this important function to the next level, with the resources necessary to deliver real results for our members and the industry,” continued Shay.

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 $2.6 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. NRF.com

Kathy Grannis
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

 

Congress needs to pass a strong and effective federal data breach notification law, National Retail Federation

NRF Concerned over ‘Notice Holes,’ Wants ‘Everyone to Have Skin in the Game’

WASHINGTON, 2015-3-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — Congress needs to pass a strong and effective federal data breach notification law that applies to all entities that handle sensitive customer data, the National Retail Federation said today before a congressional panel examining draft data security legislation.

“If Americans are to be adequately protected and informed, federal legislation to address these threats must cover all of the types of entities that handle sensitive personal information,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “Exemptions for particular industry sectors not only ignore the scope of the problem, but create risks criminals can exploit. Equally important, a single federal law applying to all breached entities would ensure clear, concise and consistent notices to all affected consumers regardless of where they live or where the breach occurs.”

Duncan testified before a hearing of the House Energy and Commerce Committee’s Subcommittee on Commerce, Manufacturing and Trade, which was examining the Data Security and Breach Notification Act of 2015, proposed by Representatives Marsha Blackburn, R-Tenn. and Peter Welch, D-Vt.

Duncan outlined three principles for a federal data breach notification law, saying such a measure must apply to all entities handling sensitive information, including cloud services companies, payment processors, telecommunications firms, and branded payment networks; must reflect a strong consensus of existing state laws; and must preempt state laws in order to establish a truly uniform nationwide standard.

The draft legislation before the subcommittee would require neither third parties, like cloud-based storage services, that handle sensitive data for ‘covered entities,’ nor ‘service providers,’ such as communications firms, from providing public notice of their breaches of security. The bill would, however, place new data security and notice requirements on a broad swath of other industry sectors subject to Federal Trade Commission jurisdiction, such as retailers, restaurants, hotels, grocery stores, convenience stores, gas stations, and other merchants.

“Congress should not allow a federal breach notification law to suffer from ‘notice holes’ – the situation where certain entities are exempt from publicly reporting known breaches of their own systems,” Duncan said. “If we want meaningful incentives to increase security, everyone needs to have skin in the game.”

What retailers want you to know about data security from NRF on SlideShare

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 $2.6 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

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Stephen E. Schatz
202-626-8119
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

National Retail Federation comments on the introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act

NRF Welcomes Introduction of Marketplace Fairness Act

WASHINGTON, 2015-3-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation issued the following statement today from Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French on introduction of the Marketplace Fairness Act by Senators Mike Enzi, R-Wyo. and Dick Durbin, D-Ill.:

“We welcome this effort to level the sales tax playing field between Main Street merchants and online retailers. For far too long, brick-and-mortar retailers have faced a competitive disadvantage solely because of Congress’ inability to resolve the online sales tax disparity.

“Retailers should be allowed to compete for customers and sales on price, service and selection and not forced to compete on whether or not they collect state and local sales tax.

“The introduction of this legislation is a welcome sign that lawmakers may finally act on this retail industry priority, and builds upon ongoing activity in the House and Senate. It also comes on the heels of Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy’s admission last week that the Court got it wrong on sales tax collection two decades ago and should revisit its decision.

“It is Congress’ responsibility to lay out a legislative framework on online sales tax collection and we hope that the introduction of this bill will spur congressional action to remedy this problem this year.”

A similar version of the Marketplace Fairness Act passed the U.S. Senate on May 6, 2013 with a broad, bipartisan vote of 69 to 27.

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 $2.6 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

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Stephen E. Schatz
202-626-8119
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates Global Port Tracker report: Import cargo volume expected to rise as West Coast ports begin to dig out from backlog

WASHINGTON, 2015-3-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Import cargo volume at the nation’s major retail container ports is expected to rise an unusually high 16.9 percent this month over the same time last year as West Coast ports begin to dig out from a backlog of cargo that built up during just-concluded contract negotiations with dockworkers, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“The contract talks are over, but the tentative agreement still has to be ratified and it’s going to take months to get back to normal on the West Coast,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Retailers’ immediate priority is to make sure spring merchandise reaches store shelves in time. Going forward, we want labor, management and Washington to work together to see that we never again have a situation like what we went through these past several months.”

Following negotiations that began last spring, the contract between the Pacific Maritime Association and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union expired on July 1. Despite ongoing talks, the lack of a contract and other operational issues led to crisis-level congestion at the ports, and retailers and other businesses asked President Obama in December to encourage the use of a federal mediator. A mediator joined the talks in January but a tentative agreement was not reached until February 20, after Labor Secretary Tom Perez sat down to personally broker a deal.

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.24 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in January, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was down 13.4 percent from December following the end of the holiday season and down 9.5 percent from January 2014. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

February was estimated at 1.27 million TEU, up 2.3 percent from 2014. March is forecast at 1.52 million TEU as spring merchandise arrives, up 16.9 percent from last year. The March number is high both because of the backlog of ships at anchor waiting to be unloaded and because the annual Lunar New Year shutdown of Chinese factories was later this year, delaying some February cargo into March. April is forecast at 1.51 million TEU, up 5.2 percent; May at 1.57 million TEU, up 6.1 percent; June also at 1.57 million TEU, up 6 percent, and July at 1.6 million TEU, up 6.7 percent.

The first half of 2015 is forecast at 8.7 million TEU, an increase of 4.5 percent over the same period last year.

Congestion at West Coast ports has prompted many importers to shift their cargo elsewhere, prompting speculation on how long the shift might last. West Coast ports handled 55 percent of cargo this January, down from 64 percent during the same month in 2014, while East Coast ports handled 45 percent, up from 36 percent.

“Importers and exporters are reviewing their supply chain plans for the future, and not necessarily in favor of the West Coast,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “Looking on the practical side, a number of factors favor a return to the West Coast.”

Hackett said sending ships from Asia to the East Coast is more expensive than the West Coast, takes longer, and results in higher expenses to move the cargo to Midwest distribution centers by rail. In addition, importers have significant investments in West Coast distribution centers that would not easily be abandoned.

Global Port Tracker, which is produced for NRF by the consulting firm Hackett Associates, covers the U.S. ports of Los Angeles/Long Beach, Oakland, Seattle and Tacoma on the West Coast; New York/New Jersey, Hampton Roads, Charleston, Savannah, Port Everglades and Miami on the East Coast, and Houston on the Gulf Coast. The report is free to NRF retail members, and subscription information is available at www.nrf.com/PortTracker or by calling (202) 783-7971. Subscription information for non-members can be found at www.globalporttracker.com.

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 $2.6 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. NRF.com

Hackett Associates provides expert consulting, research and advisory services to the international maritime industry, government agencies and international institutions.www.hackettassociates.com

J. Craig Shearman
(202) 626-8134
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press

National Retail Federation expects sales in November and December to increase 4.1 percent vs. 2013’s 3.1 percent increase during that same time frame

Optimism Shines as National Retail Federation Forecasts Holiday Sales to Increase 4.1

Washington, 2014-10-7— /EPR Retail News/ — After a turbulent start to 2014, the National Retail Federation announced today it expects sales in November and December (excluding autos, gas and restaurant sales) to increase a healthy 4.1 percent to $616.9 billion, higher than 2013’s actual 3.1 percent increase during that same time frame.

Holiday sales on average have grown 2.9 percent over the past 10 years, including 2014’s estimates, and are expected to represent approximately 19.2 percent of the retail industry’s annual sales of $3.2 trillion. This would mark the first time since 2011 that holiday sales would increase more than 4 percent.

“Retailers could see a welcome boost in holiday shopping, giving some companies the shot in the arm they need after a volatile first half of the year and an uneventful summer,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “While expectations for sales growth are upbeat, it goes without saying there still remains some uneasiness and anxiety among consumers when it comes to their purchase decisions. The lagging economic recovery, though improving, is still top of mind for many Americans.

“Recognizing the need to keep household budgets in line, we expect shoppers will be extremely price sensitive as they have been for quite some time. Retailers will respond by differentiating themselves and touting price, value and exclusivity,” continued Shay.

While consumer confidence has been unstable much of the year, improvements over the past few months in key economic indicators will give way to increased spending power among holiday shoppers. Retail sales, jobs and housing data all point to healthy gains.

“Though we have only seen consumer income and spending moderately – and erratically – accelerate this year, we believe there is still room for optimism this holiday season,” said NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz. “In the grand scheme of things, consumers are in a much better place than they were this time last year, and the extra spending power could very well translate into solid holiday sales growth for retailers; however, shoppers will still be deliberate with their purchases, while hunting for hard-to-pass-up bargains.”

NRF’s holiday sales forecast is based on an economic model using several indicators including, consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales releases. It now includes the non-store category (direct-to-consumer, kiosks and online sales.) For historic sales information visit NRF’s Holiday Headquarters and the Retail Insight Center.

Shop.org Forecasts Online Sales to Grow Between 8 – 11% This Holiday Season

Shop.org today released its 2014 online holiday sales forecast, expecting sales in November and December to grow between 8 – 11 percent over last holiday season to as much as $105 billion.**

Shop.org forecasts sales based on government data including, consumer credit, disposable personal income, and previous monthly retail sales releases. Holiday non-store sales in 2013 grew 8.6 percent.

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Infographic provided by National Retail Federation

 

NRF Forecasts Seasonal Employment to Grow Between 725,000 – 800,000

According to NRF, retailers are expected to hire between 725,000 and 800,000 seasonal workers this holiday season, potentially more than they actually hired during the 2013 holiday season (768,000). Seasonal employment in 2013 increased 14 percent over the previous holiday season.

“These holiday positions offer hundreds of thousands of people the opportunity to turn their seasonal position into a long-term career opportunity in retail,” said Shay.

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Infographic provided by National Retail Federation

PRESS AND ANALYSTS ONLY: Join NRF for a media briefing today at 11:00 a.m. with NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay and NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz, Ph.D. On the call, Shay and Kleinhenz will discuss the rationale and metrics behind NRF’s holiday forecast along with economic expectations for the remainder of 2014. Register for the briefing by emailing press@nrf.com.

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 $2.6 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

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Kathy Grannis
Treacy Reynolds
(202) 783-7971
press@nrf.com
(855) NRF-Press