NCR to take visitors on an experiential retail journey during NRF’s 2018 Annual Convention & Expo, January 14-16

At NRF 2018, NCR demonstrates how its innovations help converge physical and digital channels to meet the demands of both retailers and shoppers in an evolving industry

ATLANTA, GA, 2018-Jan-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR), a global leader in innovative omni-channel solutions, will take visitors to booth #3121 on an experiential retail journey during NRF’s 2018 Annual Convention & Expo from January 14 to 16. In doing so, the company is underscoring the need for retailers to reimagine consumer engagement in a landscape where physical and digital channels are increasingly blurred and competition is fierce.

During the show, NCR will celebrate 20 years since the installation of its first self-checkout solution, and the tremendous journey that has led the company to become the global market leader with retailer deployments across 39 countries. Self-checkout has become one of the most recognizable aspects of NCR’s store transformation solution portfolio. NCR’s technology helps retailers solve long checkout queues, growing overhead costs, and customer service challenges due to misallocated staff and increasing wages. The company’s latest self-checkout models feature intelligent vision-based scanners that simplify the self-checkout process, while simultaneously helping to reduce shrink.

“NCR’s self-checkout innovations are part of our larger commitment to continuously rethink and reexamine the role of technology in both improving the shopper experience and helping retailers succeed,” said Tom Chittenden, vice president and general manager of retail solutions at NCR Corporation. “For many retailers, self-checkout has become the starting point of their transformational journey to thrive today and prepare for the demands of tomorrow. At this year’s NRF show, we’re excited for visitors to see our comprehensive offering of omni-channel solutions for all types of retailers and to experience hands-on the end-to-end approach we take with creating exceptional retail experiences.”

During the NRF Expo, NCR will host media tours that demonstrate how a consumer journey is markedly enhanced by its omni-channel retail solutions: delivering flexible purchase and fulfillment options, improving engagement with next-level personalization and creating smoother experiences using a wide variety of technologies. For example, NCR’s EMV-ready OPTIC terminals are poised to revolutionize petroleum and convenience retail throughout North America by helping to drive in-store sales and improve loyalty with customized offers and a broad array of payment options at-the-pump. NCR FastLane™ Mobile Shopper helps retailers digitally engage with shoppers on their mobile devices, with tools to build shopping lists, locate and scan items for fast checkout inside the store.

Throughout the booth, visitors can experience how NCR enables the buy-anywhere, fulfill-anywhere demands of today and learn how its omni-channel solutions make each of the consumer touchpoints in a shopping journey work.

For more information or to RSVP, please contact Ortrud Wenzel: ortrud.wenzel@ncr.com.

About NCR Corporation
NCR Corporation (NYSE: NCR) is a leader in omni-channel solutions, turning everyday interactions with businesses into exceptional experiences. With its software, hardware, and portfolio of services, NCR enables nearly 700 million transactions daily across financial, retail, hospitality, travel, telecom and technology industries. NCR solutions run the everyday transactions that make your life easier. NCR is headquartered in Atlanta, Ga., with about 30,000 employees and does business in 180 countries. NCR is a trademark of NCR Corporation in the United States and other countries. NCR encourages investors to visit its website which is updated regularly with financial and other important information about NCR.

Website: www.ncr.com 
Twitter: @NCRCorporation
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ncrcorp
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/ncr-corporation
YouTube: www.youtube.com/user/ncrcorporation

News Media Contacts
Ortrud Wenzel
NCR Public Relations
+49 821 405 8191
ortrud.wenzel@ncr.com

SOURCE: NCR

New survey reveal an estimated 164 million people plan to shop during Thanksgiving weekend and Cyber Monday

WASHINGTON, 2017-Nov-15 — /EPR Retail News/ — The biggest shopping weekend of the year is right around the corner and 69 percent of Americans — an estimated 164 million people — are planning to shop or considering shopping during Thanksgiving weekend, according to the annual survey released today by the National Retail Federation and Prosper Insights & Analytics. For the first time in survey history, the numbers include Cyber Monday in addition to Thanksgiving Day, Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Sunday.

“This year, we updated our survey to more accurately capture consumer behavior throughout the entire shopping weekend — Thanksgiving Day through Cyber Monday,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Consumers will benefit from competitive promotions both in stores and online lasting the course of the weekend, allowing them to find the best gifts at the lowest prices.”

Of those considering shopping the long holiday weekend, the survey found that 20 percent plan to shop on Thanksgiving Day (32 million) but Black Friday will remain the busiest day with 70 percent planning to shop then (115 million). A substantial 43 percent are expected to shop on Saturday (71 million), with 76 percent saying they will do so specifically to support Small Business Saturday. On Sunday, 21 percent expect to shop (35 million) and 48 percent are expected to shop on Cyber Monday (78 million).

Of those shopping, 66 percent said they’re doing so to take advantage of deals and promotions retailers will offer, while 26 percent cited the tradition of shopping over Thanksgiving weekend and 23 percent said it’s something to do over the holiday weekend. Another 23 percent said it is when they start their holiday shopping.

According to the survey, 56 percent of Americans have already started their holiday shopping, but most still have a long way to go. Only 12 percent of consumers have completed at least half of their shopping, while only 2 percent have finished all of their holiday shopping.

When asked what they enjoy the most about shopping during the holidays, 35 percent said it is a family tradition while 23 percent said they most enjoy holiday decorations and displays; 18 percent cited finding the perfect gift for someone.

“While the utility of the weekend will continue to draw shoppers into stores and online to efficiently and inexpensively check off their lists, we’re also seeing consumers report tradition and the opportunity to partake in holiday cheer as reasons for shopping, too,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “By now, people know what sort of deals they can expect to see during the weekend and are budgeting for them accordingly, and in many cases expertly.”

“For Gen Z, the holiday shopping weekend is a can’t-miss opportunity,” Goodfellow said. “This group overwhelmingly sees in-store shopping as a valuable way to connect with others, be it friends, family or store associates at their favorite retailers.”

While many consumers will take advantage of deals over Thanksgiving weekend, 31 percent will refrain from shopping that weekend. Of those not planning to participate, 52 percent won’t shop because they do not enjoy the experience and 51 percent say they never shop during Thanksgiving weekend. Of those not shopping, 46 percent said nothing would change their mind but 27 percent said a good sale or discount on an item they want could get them to shop.

The survey, which asked 7,439 consumers about their shopping plans, was conducted October 31-November 7 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

Full data results surrounding the survey will not be published on NRF.com. News media and analysts who require additional information can contact press@nrf.com. Due to the changes in the survey, no historical data will be provided.

NRF Thanksgiving Weekend and Cyber Monday Results and Weekend Contact Information

To more accurately capture the entirety of spending on Thanksgiving weekend, NRF this year will release spending data on November 28, the day after Cyber Monday. Doing so will allow NRF to provide a more accurate picture of consumer activity over the entire weekend and incorporate Cyber Monday data into the results. As consumer behavior evolves, NRF will continue to focus its efforts on providing the most relevant, accurate and insightful analysis of its impact on the retail industry.

Additionally, NRF will host a media call with Shay at 1 p.m. November 28. An advisory will be sent to retail, trade and business media in the coming days. The call will discuss what time people started shopping on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, how many people shopped for Small Business Saturday, the percentage of those shopping online over the weekend and final results for Cyber Monday.

NRF offices will be closed on Thanksgiving Day and Black Friday, but members of the media relations team will be available from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. on Black Friday. To request a print or broadcast interview, contact Ana Serafin Smith at press@nrf.com or 855-NRF-PRESS.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data serving the financial services, marketing technology, and retail industries. We provide global authoritative market information on US and China consumers via curated insights and analytics. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper helps companies accurately predict consumers’ future behavior to help identify market behaviors, optimize marketing efforts, and improve the effectiveness of demand generation campaigns. www.ProsperInsights.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.

Contact:

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

Source: NRF

NRF and University of Phoenix announce the Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2017

WASHINGTON, 2017-Oct-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and University of Phoenix today named the Dream BIG Scholarship recipients for 2017, recognizing individuals who want to enhance their retail careers through education.

“At NRF, we put a premium on lifelong learning, and we’re inspired by the number of individuals in the retail industry who are constantly looking for new ways to improve their craft,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Our mission is to nurture the raw talent and determination that exists in each one of our Dream BIG Scholarship recipients by giving them the resources they need to further their education. This opportunity for professional development is a win for scholarship recipients, their employers, the customers they serve and the retail industry at large.”

“Technology and consumer demands continue to drive change within the retail industries,” said Dennis Bonilla, executive dean, School of Business and College of Information Systems and Technology, University of Phoenix. “Education is essential to helping one grow in their career in order to be prepared for and take advantage of opportunities that change may bring. University of Phoenix is proud to work with the National Retail Federation to develop the next generation of leaders in retail by providing an industry-aligned education designed to help them succeed.”

The 20 recipients are current retail employees and were selected out of hundreds of applicants from 70 retailers across the country. Each will receive a full-tuition scholarship to pursue an undergraduate or master’s degree at University of Phoenix.

The recipients of the 2017 Dream Big scholarship are:

Pursuing a Bachelor’s Degree

  • Aundrea Hyde – Jewelry Sales Supervisor at Macy’s in Glendora, Calif.
  • Emily Villatoro – Assistant Department Manager at Nordstorm in Falls Church, Va.
  • Hailey McLean – Customer Solutions Training and Quality Assurance Sales Trainer at The Container Store in Flower Mound, Texas
  • Justin Martin – Area Sales Manager at Saks Fifth Avenue in Minneapolis
  • Katherine Watt – General Manager at Red Robin in Anaheim, Calif.
  • Kelly Corcoran – Visual Merchandising Lead at Mattel in Phoenix
  • Korinne Jones – Commercial Manager at IKEA in Oakbrook Terrace, Ill.
  • Leslie Courtney – Senior Director of Shared Services at The Kroger Co. in Fort Mitchell, Ky.
  • Natalie Harkness – Associate Buyer at Maurices in Duluth, Minn.
  • Sean Lenahan – Store Manager at Brooks Brothers in Sherman Oaks, Calif.
  • Varinia Boyd – District Manager at Brooks Brothers in Gilbert, AZ

Pursuing a Master’s Degree

  • Alexis Katsafanas – Assistant Buy Planner at Nordstrom in Seattle
  • Alison Wallace – Associate Planner at Burlington Stores in Philadelphia
  • Ana Baron – Production Administrative Support Personnel at The Kroger Co. in Moreno Valley, Calif.
  • Hannah Wong – Accounts Payable Operations Coordinator at Whole Foods Market in Austin, Texas
  • Katherine Mather – Customer Solutions Department Point Person at The Container Store in Lake Dallas, Texas
  • Kenny Rogers – Human Resources Business Partner at Steak n Shake in Sulphur Springs, Calif.
  • Kristen Turner – Assistant Buyer at Burlington Stores in Robbinsville, N.J.
  • Michael Billett – Area Manager at Mattress Firm in Boardman, Ohio
  • Shannon White – Store Manager at Lane Bryant in Atlanta, GA

Retail executives from some of the industry’s best-known companies including Best Buy, Neiman Marcus and The Container Store served as members of the executive judging committee that chose the recipients.

The Dream BIG Scholarship program is made possible through a collaboration between NRF’s nonprofit arm, the NRF Foundation, and University of Phoenix. This is the fifth year the NRF Foundation and University of Phoenix have offered the Dream BIG Scholarship, which is awarded to current retail employees. Meet the 2017 recipients and learn more about the Dream BIG Scholarship.

About University of Phoenix®
University of Phoenix is innovating to help working adults move efficiently from education to careers in a rapidly changing world. Flexible schedules, relevant and engaging courses, and interactive learning can help students more effectively pursue career and personal aspirations while balancing their busy lives. University of Phoenix serves a diverse student population, offering associate, bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degree programs from campuses and learning centers across the U.S. as well as online throughout the world. For more information, visit phoenix.edu.

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: NRF

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

NRF and Ascential PLC partner to provide insight, networking opportunities, intelligence to the global retail community

NRF and Ascential PLC partner to provide insight, networking opportunities, intelligence to the global retail community

WASHINGTON, 2017-Oct-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and Ascential PLC, parent company of the World Retail Congress, today announced a global partnership to bring together their long-standing, convening power around the world. The partnership will leverage the strengths of each group to help continue to provide their shared audiences with insight, networking opportunities, intelligence and more in the years ahead.

“By bringing together the brainpower and credibility of NRF and the World Retail Congress, we ensure that the global retail community will have continued access to first-rate events and thought leadership about the transformation and future of retail,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “With the WRC’s international acumen and NRF’s century-old U.S. leadership platform, we will continue to evolve to meet the needs of the modern-day retailer around the world.”

Between NRF’s Retail’s Big Show and Shop.org and Ascential’s annual World Retail Congress, the two organizations host the premiere retail forums each year. The announcement was made on stage today by Shay and WRC Chairman Ian McGarrigle at Ascential’s Retail Congress Asia-Pacific conference in Hong Kong.

“This is a very special partnership which recognizes the great relationship the World Retail Congress has built up with the National Retail Federation,” McGarrigle said. “As the world’s biggest retail trade association, they will be an invaluable help in continuing to ensure that the Congress reflects the key issues and topics that are at the forefront of all retail leaders’ minds.”

The partnership is supported at the highest levels of both organizations.

“As the industry continues to change, there is so much to learn from our colleagues and innovators around the globe,” said Macy’s Executive Chairman Terry Lundgren, who is chairman of the NRF Board of Directors. “It makes perfect sense for two organizations seeking to serve the same industry and facing the same challenges to collaborate and not work independent of one another. This is the right opportunity at the right time.”

“We’re delighted to announce a global partnership between Ascential PLC and the National Retail Federation,” Ascential CEO Duncan Painter said. “The collaboration of our organizations has the express purpose of furthering global connections and knowledge sharing that support this dynamic industry as leaders continue to navigate the extraordinary changes and opportunities posed by the digital revolution.”

About Ascential
Ascential is a global business-to-business media company that informs and connects the business world in 150 countries through market-leading exhibitions and festivals and information services. Ascential powers the prestigious Cannes Lions festival for the branded communications industry, the world’s premier payments and financial services congress Money20/20, Spring Fair/Autumn Fair, World Retail Congress, the global trend forecasting service WGSN, environmental risk data business Groundsure, e-commerce analytics provider One Click Retail and MediaLink, the strategic advisory and business services firm. Ascential’s premium products enable focus, growth and value. The company provides customers with world class content and connections empowering their businesses to be the best informed and best connected. www.ascential.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.

SOURCE: NRF

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

NRF/Hackett Associates report: Imports break records two months in a row as retailers brought in merchandise for the holiday season

WASHINGTON, 2017-Oct-12 — /EPR Retail News/ — Imports set a second all-time monthly record high this summer as retailers brought in merchandise for the busy holiday season, and are continuing at unusually high levels this month, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“When imports break records two months in a row, it’s hard to see that as anything other than a good sign about what retailers expect in consumer demand,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “Consumers are buying more, and everybody from dockworkers to truck drivers is trying to keep up. We hope this is a sign of a strong holiday season for retailers, shoppers and our nation’s economy.”

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.8 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in August, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. The volume was the highest recorded since NRF began tracking imports in 2000, topping the previous record of 1.78 million TEU set just one month earlier in July. The record before that had been 1.73 million TEU in March 2015. August was up 1.4 percent over July and 5.6 percent over August 2016. A TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

September was estimated at 1.65 million TEU, up 3.7 percent from last year, and October is forecast at 1.72 million TEU, up 2.8 percent. While not a record, the October number would be one of only six times in the report’s history that any month has hit 1.7 million TEU or higher. November is forecast at 1.62 million TEU, down 1.7 percent from last year, and December is forecast at 1.59 million TEU, up 1.3 percent.

Growth has slowed from the first half of the year but 2017 is expected to total 19.8 million TEU, topping last year’s previous record of 18.8 million TEU by 5.4 percent. That compares with 2016’s 3.1 percent increase over 2015. The first half of 2017 totaled 9.7 million TEU, up 7.5 percent from the same period in 2016.

January 2018 is forecast at 1.64 million TEU, down 2 percent from January 2017, and February is forecast at 1.58 million TEU, up 10 percent from the same month in 2017.

The import numbers come as NRF is forecasting that 2017 retail sales  will grow between 3.2 and 3.8 percent over 2016 and that this year’s holiday sales will grow between 3.6 and 4 percent. Cargo volume does not correlate directly with sales because only the number of containers is counted, not the value of the cargo inside, but nonetheless provides a barometer of retailers’ expectations.

“The volume of containers imported through August continues to grow and we expect this to continue through October before a slack period arrives as the holiday season inventory buildup comes to an end,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “We do expect growth in imports to slacken off in the coming year, but it will still remain positive.”

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.com

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

SOURCE: NRF

MEDIA CONTACT

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

NRF forecast: families will spend $83.6 billion on back-to-school this year

WASHINGTON, 2017-Aug-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Even though more parents started back-to-school shopping early this year, many families still have a lot of shopping left to do as they prepare their children for the start of school. According to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, the average family with children in grades K-12 had completed only 45 percent of their shopping as of early August. That’s down from a peak of 52 percent at the same time in 2013 and 48 percent last year, and the lowest level since 40 percent in 2012.

“Parents this year have been taking longer than usual to finish buying the clothing and supplies their children need for school,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Many kids are already getting on the bus and millions more will be back in class in another week or two, so anybody who hasn’t finished shopping by now is cutting it close. Retailers have some great bargains to offer, but parents better take advantage of them before the school bell rings.”

Of parents surveyed August 1-9, only 13 percent had completed all their shopping, and 23 percent had not started at all. The results come even though the number of parents who planned to start shopping at least two months before the beginning of school was up this year at 27 percent, compared with 22 percent last year.

NRF has forecast that families will spend $83.6 billion on back-to-school this year, including $29.5 billion on K-12 and $54.1 billion on college.

Among K-12 parents, 79 percent said they still needed to buy basic supplies such as pencils and paper, up from 77 percent at the same time last year, followed by 75 percent who needed to buy apparel, up from 70 percent; 58 percent still needed to buy shoes, up from 57 percent.

To wrap up their buying, 55 percent planned to head to department stores, 49 percent to discount stores, 39 percent to clothing stores, 35 percent to office supply stores and 33 percent online.

When deciding where to shop, 41 percent said they are influenced by coupons, down from 48 percent last year and the lowest in the survey’s history. But 33 percent said they would leverage in-store promotions and 29 percent said they would be influenced by newspaper advertising inserts. For those who’ve already started shopping, 43 percent of their purchases were influenced by coupons, sales and promotions.

The survey found that 61 percent of school supply purchases were influenced by school requirements, down from 64 percent last year. Similarly, 41 percent of electronics purchases were dictated by what schools required, down from 45 percent.

But even though those numbers were down, school requirements still play a significant role in how families go about their shopping.

“Similar to recent years, some of the big-ticket items are being significantly influenced by school requirements,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “That is why we are seeing many parents take their time in tackling their lists so they can take advantage of any special promotions that can help them save on items such as laptops and computers.”

College Shopping
Overall results for college students were largely the same, with students and their parents saying they, too, had completed 45 percent of their shopping, down from 48 percent last year. That was down from a peak of 54 percent at the same time in 2014 and the lowest level since 44 percent in 2011. Only 12 percent had completed all their shopping and 26 percent had not started at all.

According to the survey, 61 percent still needed to purchase school supplies, followed by clothing (51 percent) and shoes (33 percent).

The survey found college consumers will likely complete the rest of their shopping online (41 percent), at discount or department stores (38 percent each), college bookstores (32 percent) and clothing stores (31 percent).

Coupons and promotions are influencing consumers with back-to-college purchases: 41 percent may use coupons; 30 percent could take advantage of in-store promotions and 28 percent are influenced by word of mouth. For those who have already made purchases, 46 percent were influenced by promotions, down from 50 percent last year.

The survey asked 7,248 consumers about both back-to-school and back-to-college shopping plans. It was conducted August 1-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & Analytics is a global leader in consumer intent data serving the financial services, marketing technology, and retail industries. We provide global authoritative market information on US and China consumers via curated insights and analytics. By integrating a variety of data including economic, behavioral and attitudinal data, Prosper helps companies accurately predict consumers’ future behavior to help identify market behaviors, optimize marketing efforts, and improve the effectiveness of demand generation campaigns. www.ProsperInsights.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.

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

Source: NRF

NRF: Retail industry employment declined slightly in July, decreasing 1,700 jobs from June

WASHINGTON, 2017-Aug-07 — /EPR Retail News/ — Retail industry employment declined slightly in July, decreasing 1,700 jobs from June, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The economy overall saw gains of 209,000 jobs in July, exceeding growth expectations for the month.

“Overall job and wage growth are positive indicators for the retail industry since it means consumers have more money to spend when they come into stores or shop online,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Of note, the oft-maligned department store sector has had two consecutive months of job increases. With back-to-school shopping ramping up and the holiday season just around the corner, retailers will only be busier in the weeks and months ahead.”

On a three-month average, retail jobs have decreased by 4,200 jobs as calculated by NRF using current government data.

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.

While the sporting goods sector saw decreased employment in July, department stores, building materials and supply stores, and health and personal care stores all saw job gains. Department store employment has increased for the past two months, with June and July gaining a combined total of 6,000 jobs. The increase in health and personal care employment was a reversal of June’s decline in jobs.

Economy-wide, average hourly earnings in July grew 2.5 percent year-over-year, keeping pace with the increase in June. The Labor Department said July unemployment was at 4.3 percent, down from 4.4 percent in June.

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

NRF: retailers remain committed to fixing Obamacare despite the failure of a “skinny” repeal bill in the Senate

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jul-31 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation said retailers remain committed to fixing Obamacare despite the failure of a “skinny” repeal bill in the Senate early today (July 28, 2017).

“It was very disappointing to come so close on even a limited bill but we will use our disappointment to fuel our push on incremental improvements that will lead to a better health care law,” NRF Vice President for Health Care Policy Neil Trautwein said. “While repeal remains the ultimate goal, there are many ways to reduce the burdens of this flawed law for the benefit of employers and workers alike. This fight is far from over.”

Trautwein said the Affordable Care Act continues to adversely influence staffing patterns, discourage full-time employment and drive up consumer prices.

NRF opposed enactment of the ACA in 2010 and has worked since then to reduce cost burdens and ease compliance requirements. Among other changes, NRF has sought to restore the definition of “full-time” workers who large company must provide with health insurance to 40 hours a week rather than 30, to fix reporting requirements and roll back ACA taxes.

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

NRF names Representative Mike Kelly, R-Pa., Legislator of the Year

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jul-21 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (July 19, 2017) named Representative Mike Kelly, R-Pa., Legislator of the Year as retailers from across the country gathered for NRF’s annual Retail Advocates Summit congressional fly-in.

“Mike Kelly is a true advocate for the retail industry and we want to thank him for his ongoing support,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “We need the backing of lawmakers like him to help retailers across the country grow their businesses and create jobs in their communities.”

“I am incredibly grateful to receive this tremendous honor and want to express my gratitude to everyone at today’s breakfast,” Kelly said. “Retailers are the backbone of our nation’s economy. They impact every single American’s daily life, from the food we enjoy to the clothes we wear to the cars we drive, and everything in between.”

“As a lifelong automobile dealer, I know firsthand just how important retailers are to not only consumers but to our associates, their families, and the communities they call home,” Kelly said. “Retail means jobs, retail means growth, retail means opportunity. I consider it a personal duty to help keep these things true by bringing my own private sector experience to the table each and every day on behalf of all those who ‘walk the walk’ and know how our economy truly works.”

Kelly is a member of the tax-writing House Ways and Means Committee, where he serves on the tax, trade and Social Security subcommittees. He was chosen for the Legislator of the Year award by the NRF Policy Council because of his support of pro-growth tax reform and his opposition to a controversial border adjustment tax proposal that would drive up prices for consumers and potentially force some retailers out of business.

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

NRF: Retail sales in June up 3.2 percent from June 2016

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jul-17 — /EPR Retail News/ — Retail sales in June were essentially unchanged over May on a seasonally adjusted basis, but up 3.2 percent unadjusted from June 2016, according to calculations released today (July 14, 2017) by the National Retail Federation. The numbers exclude automobiles, gasoline stations and restaurants.

“Deflating pricing in retail continues to aggravate measurements of spending in June. Consumers continue to make purchases, but total sales reflects depressed prices on the volume of goods purchased,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Nonetheless, consumer fundamentals remain solid, with no expectations for spending to cool off in the remaining summer months.

“Given the strength of consumer sentiment and other indicators – housing prices, net worth and use of credit – it’s puzzling to see consumer spending move at a slower pace,” Kleinhenz said.

Sales in June were driven by online and other non-store sales. Building materials and furniture also reported gains, perhaps reflecting a stronger housing market.

Sales increased 3.9 percent on a three-month moving average year-over-year.

Specifics include:

  • Online and other non-store sales increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted over May and increased 9.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at clothing and accessories stores decreased 0.1 percent seasonally adjusted from May and increased 1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at general merchandise stores increased 0.4 percent seasonally adjusted over May and increased 2.3 percent year-over-year.
  • Electronics and appliances stores’ sales increased 1 percent seasonally adjusted over May and increased 1.6 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Furniture and home furnishings stores’ sales increased 1 percent seasonally adjusted from May and increased 3.5 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at building materials and supplies stores sales increased 5 percent from May and increased 5.1 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sporting goods stores’ sales decreased 0.6 percent seasonally adjusted from May and decreased 7.7 percent unadjusted year-over-year.
  • Sales at health and personal care stores increased 0.3 percent over May and increased 0.9 percent unadjusted year-over-year.

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

NRF: imports could set new record as merchants enter back-to-school season and begin to stock up for the holiday season

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jul-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — July and August should be two of the busiest months ever seen for imports at the nation’s major retail container ports, possibly setting a new record as merchants enter the back-to-school season and begin to stock up for the holiday season that will follow, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today (July 10, 2017) by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“We’re expecting retailers to import some of the largest volumes of merchandise ever,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “That’s a good indicator of what could be ahead for consumer demand and retail sales, and it’s a sign that retail is going strong despite what you might read in the headlines.”

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.72 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in May, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 7.3 percent from April and up 6.2 percent from May 2016. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

June was estimated at 1.66 million TEU, up 5.3 percent from the same time last year. July is forecast at 1.71 million TEU, up 5.1 percent from last year; August at 1.75 million TEU, up 2.2 percent; September at 1.66 million TEU, up 4.3 percent; October at 1.71 million TEU, up 2.2 percent, and November at 1.6 million TEU, down 2.7 percent from last year.

The August figure would be the highest monthly volume recorded since NRF began tracking imports in 2000, topping the 1.73 million TEU seen in March 2015. The 1.7 million-plus numbers seen in May, July, August and October represent four of the six busiest months in the report’s history.

The first half of 2017 is expected to total 9.63 million TEU, up 7.1 percent from the first half of 2016. Cargo volume for 2016 totaled 18.8 million TEU, up 3.1 percent from 2015, which had grown 5.4 percent from 2014.

NRF has forecast that 2017 retail sales – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – will increase between 3.7 and 4.2 percent over 2016, driven by job and income growth coupled with low debt. Cargo volume does not correlate directly with sales because only the number of containers is counted, not the value of the cargo inside, but nonetheless provides a barometer of retailers’ expectations.

Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett, an internationally known economist who prepares Global Port Tracker for NRF, said the increases in imports have come despite threats by the Trump administration to impose new limits on international trade.

“Some actions to date appear to have alienated traditional allies and are causing them to work more closely together, leaving the United States on the sidelines,” Hackett wrote in his monthly editorial comment in the report. “ ‘America First’ may well result in protectionist actions that will cut the United States off from the benefits of the global value chain and economic growth for U.S. importers and exporters.”

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.com

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

Contact:

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

Source: NRF

NRF: Retail industry employment in June gained 7,400 jobs over May

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jul-10 — /EPR Retail News/ — Retail industry employment turned a corner in June, gaining 7,400 jobs over May, the National Retail Federation said today (July 7, 2017). The retail numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The economy overall saw gains of 222,000 jobs in June, far exceeding growth expectations for the month.

“The gain in June shows that the industry is still very much meeting the demands of consumers and households,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “While one month does not make a trend, retailers are working through a transformative time and gearing up for back-to-school and the not-too-distant winter holiday season.”

Average hourly earnings in June showed a slight gain of 2.5 percent year-over-year, compared with 2.4 percent in May.

On a three-month average, retail jobs have decreased by 2,200 fewer jobs as calculated by NRF. On a year-over-year basis seasonally adjusted, retail jobs have decreased by 32,900 positions.

The retail sector saw mixed results in business lines in June with general merchandise that includes department stores registering a 12,200-job gain. This gain was offset by declines in the clothing segments and health and personal care, which lost a combined 12,600 jobs.

The Labor Department said June unemployment was at 4.4 percent, up from 4.3 percent in May.

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

NRF names former White House and congressional attorney Stephanie Martz as SVP and general counsel

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-27 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation announced today (June 26, 2017) that Stephanie Martz, a former White House and congressional attorney and partner at one of Washington’s top lobbying firms, will join the organization in September as senior vice president and general counsel. Martz will succeed retiring SVP and General Counsel Mallory Duncan.

“NRF is extraordinarily fortunate to have Stephanie joining our team,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Her experience in the White House, on Capitol Hill, at the Chamber of Commerce and in the courts gives the NRF and our members a level of expertise that will allow us to continue representing the retail industry at a level that is second to none. Whether legislation, policy or litigation, Stephanie’s track record of success speaks for itself and NRF will greatly benefit as a result of it.”

“There are a number of issues facing our industry that require a sharp legal mind to represent the interests of our members,” Shay said. “Stephanie has worked with a number of corporate counsels throughout her career, and whether the issue is swipe fees or data security, I am confident that Stephanie will build on Mallory’s legacy of inclusion and success in fighting for our industry.”

“I am excited to be joining the NRF and the opportunity it presents to work with some of the nation’s largest retailers,” Martz said. “I truly believe that this is a unique opportunity to work with a growing organization that is interested in a wide range of cutting-edge legal and policy issues — the issues which impact the retail industry, its employees and the millions of customers that retailers serve every day.”

As a partner at Monument Policy Group since 2015, Martz is a well-known expert on technology and new economy issues, with a range of clients from Silicon Valley to Seattle, Fortune 500 companies, industry groups and other businesses. Her areas of focus have included data privacy, cybersecurity, international data agreements and immigration. Prior to that, she was special assistant and senior counsel to President Barack Obama. In that capacity, she was the senior lawyer in charge of in-house counsel functions in the Office of White House Counsel and was also responsible for input on key policy matters.

Previously, Martz served as chief counsel to Senator Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., who is now the Senate minority leader. In that position, she provided political and legal analysis, drafted and reviewed legislation and formulated political strategy on a wide array of matters before the Senate. Other experience includes serving as a senior director at the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, litigation counsel at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, practice at two Washington law firms — Mayer Brown LLP and Miller, Cassidy, Larroca and Lewin LLP — and law clerk at both the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

Martz is a graduate of Georgetown University and Stanford Law School, where she served as executive editor of the Stanford Law Review.

Duncan, who has been general counsel at NRF since 1994, announced last week that he will retire at the end of August.

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

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay: retailers would work “tirelessly” to achieve tax reform without shifting the burden to consumers

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-22 — /EPR Retail News/ — National Retail Federation President and CEO Matthew Shay said in an interview today (June 21, 2017) on Fox Business Network’s Varney & Co. that retailers would work “tirelessly” to achieve tax reform that lowers rates without shifting the burden to consumers.

Regarding House Speaker Paul Ryan’s speech on tax reform the day before, Shay said, “The Speaker made very clear that there is more than one way to get this done….I think that is encouraging. That is a sign that he and Chairman Brady and others are being responsive to the concerns they have heard and the recognition the politics of this, it just doesn’t make sense to do tax reform by imposing a $1700 tax on American families.”

To watch the full interview, click here.

The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world and NRF has led the retail industry in advocating for comprehensive tax reform that would broaden the tax base and lower the rate. Retail benefits from few of the tax breaks that lower tax bills for other industries, and most retail companies pay at or close to the full 35 percent rate.

TRANSCRIPT
Fox Business Network
Varney & Co. – Matt Shay Interview
June 21, 2017
http://video.foxbusiness.com/v/5478892341001/?#sp=show-clips

STUART VARNEY: House Speaker Paul Ryan outlined his tax reform plan yesterday. He barely mentioned the so-called border adjustment tax. National Retail Federation CEO Matt Shay is here with us now. Alright, Matt, take a victory lap because you killed it. You killed the border tax.

NRF PRESIDENT AND CEO MATTHEW SHAY: Nice to be with you, Stuart. Glad to be here today. I think that the speech Speaker Ryan gave yesterday and the outline that he provided to that audience was something that would resonate very well with our members, would be very popular with the retail industry. He said a lot of things with which we agree and that makes the point, that we have been in agreement with the Speaker on the need for tax reform for a long time and we have one disagreement over one element and the fact he didn’t mention that element yesterday is encouraging to all of us.

VARNEY: Your disagreement is purely about the border adjustment tax and that is the way of paying for this tax reform. If you take away the border adjustment tax would you be okay with substituting a consumption tax like a gas tax?

SHAY: I think a consumption tax and a gas tax would be received very differently depending on which industries you are talking about because they will have different impacts. But I think the point here is that the Speaker made very clear that there is more than one way to get this done and the fact that he acknowledged there’s a way to do tax reform, and said, for reference, we have a proposal here in the House but there are many ways to get this done, I think that is encouraging. That is a sign that he and Chairman Brady and others are being responsive to the concerns they have heard and the recognition the politics of this, it just doesn’t make sense to do tax reform by imposing a $1700 tax on American families.

VARNEY: I came on strong at the beginning of the interview trying to press you, and say, ‘look, it’s dead.’ You killed it, you did it. I think I am right, whether you killed it or not doesn’t matter. I think it is dead and you are not going to give me an argument.

SHAY: We have heard the Senate – sort of up and down the line – from Republican members of the Senate express a lot of discomfort with this. There is not any enthusiasm in the Senate for this to go anywhere. You heard Secretary Steve Mnuchin at Treasury, you’ve heard Gary Cohen at the White House make public statements about their displeasure with this particular approach, so I think this is a positive development. I think there is a long way to go, as Speaker Ryan pointed out, and it is not going to be over until we get there. And we need to get there and I think we should be very clear on this. We will be just as vocal in support of a plan that doesn’t contain the border adjustment tax as we have been vocal about one that does. We are big champions for reform. We pay the highest rate of any industry in the country, we want to get this done and we will be out there tirelessly working to get tax reform across the finish line.

VARNEY: Okay, Matt, we’ll delay your victory lap for a couple days but after that you really have to come back to take a victory lap because you really did kill it.

SHAY: Victory is when we get tax reform done because it’s good for the American people and good for this country and that will be a victory for all of us.

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

NRF condemns House Ways and Means proposal to phase in Border Adjustment Tax over five years

Brady Suggestion Remains a ‘Massive Middle Class Tax Hike’

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-14 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (June 13, 2017) condemned a proposal by House Ways and Means Chairman Kevin Brady to phase in a Border Adjustment Tax over five years.

“Phasing in a job-killing plan like the Border Adjustment Tax does nothing to fix its many flaws,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “It is a massive middle class tax hike based on unproven economic theory, and doing it more slowly won’t make it any less harmful to millions of American workers. If Chairman Brady is truly listening to his colleagues in the House and the Senate, he will drop the proposal altogether and move on with a new tax reform plan that can win majority support in Congress and gain the President’s signature.”

The United States has one of the highest corporate tax rates in the world and NRF has led the retail industry in advocating for comprehensive tax reform that would broaden the tax base and lower the rate. Retail benefits from few of the tax breaks that lower tax bills for other industries, and most retail companies pay at or close to the full 35 percent rate.

The “Better Way” tax reform plan proposed by House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, includes a provision that would, in effect, create a 20 percent border tax on imported goods by ending retailers’ ability to deduct the cost of merchandise that they import. That means retailers would be taxed at nearly the full selling price of imported merchandise rather than just their profit.

The border adjustment tax would have significant implications for retailers and other industries that rely on complicated global supply chains, including automobiles, technology, food and fuel. Analysis by NRF and many of its member companies indicates that the proposed tax would drive up costs, erode profits and exceed any benefits from a lower corporate tax rate. It would require consumer price increases of 15 percent or more to retain profitability, effectively creating a new tax paid by consumers.

The BAT would also put at risk millions more retail-supported jobs than it would theoretically create for manufacturing. A BAT could cause retailers to see tax bills three to five times the amount of their profits, threatening to drive some merchants out of business. The small retailers that make up 98 percent of the retail industry and provide 40 percent of its jobs would be at the biggest risk.

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 econom

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

Source; NRF

Tyra Banks and Kobe Bryant joins the list of speakers at NRF’s Shop.org conference

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Celebrities Tyra Banks and Kobe Bryant will join executives from Disney, TechStyle, theSkimm, DSW, Ashley Stewart, Affirm and Peloton to headline the list of speakers this fall at the National Retail Federation’s Shop.org conference, NRF announced today (June 8, 2017). The conference, which is the digital retail industry’s top networking event for technologists, executives and thought leaders, will be held September 25-27 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.

“We are excited to have industry leaders and executives from brands that continue to reinvent,” NRF Senior Vice President for Conferences Susan Newman said. “These pioneers continue to transform the ever-changing retail and digital environment and will give our attendees new ways to reinvent their businesses during this crucial time in the industry.”

“These powerful speakers are just one element of the experience retailers and attendees will have at the show. We will also be offering curated one-on-one meetings for retailers, roundtable lunches and exclusive outings for those who want access to a unique LA experience,” said Newman.

On September 26, more than 4,000 retail, e-commerce and multichannel executives will gather to hear remarkable stories of reinvention. Opening the show, supermodel-turned-entrepreneur and CEO Tyra Banks will speak on mastering the art of “pivoting” and discuss the transformation from modeling career to entertainment and business mogul, as well as share tips on how to stand out in today’s extremely competitive market.

Following Banks, Disney Consumer Products and Interactive Media’s Chief Technology Officer and Senior Vice President Michael White will address how the division is preparing its technology workforce to succeed in the digital commerce space, with a focus on artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Also on September 26, TechStyle Fashion Group co-founder and co-CEO Adam Goldenberg will address how his company has changed the way consumers shop online with its growing fashion and technology brands including Fabletics, ShoeDazzle and JustFab. Goldenberg will also cover how the company continues to evolve personalization tools and its membership model to succeed in the fast-paced e-commerce world.

That afternoon, the keynote stage will highlight female entrepreneurs including Beautycounter founder and CEO Gregg Renfrew, Minted founder and CEO Mariam Naficy and theSkimm co-founders and co-CEOs Danielle Weisberg and Carly Zakin.

To kick off the last day of the show on September 27, L2 founder and New York University Stern Business School professor Scott Galloway will discuss the biggest winners and losers in digital and their impact on society.

Later that morning,  former CEO of HSNi Mindy Grossman will host a fireside chat with Wharton School of Business professor and author Adam Grant after he presents insights from this bestselling book “Originals.” Grant and Grossman will explore how to recognize and champion new ideas, overcome fear and doubt and build cultures that welcome diverse perspectives and honest feedback.

In the afternoon of September 27, the keynote stage will focus on the art of reinvention and customer loyalty, starting with Ashley Stewart CEO James Rhee and DSW CEO Roger Rawlins. The topic will be explored further in a session moderated by Affirm founder and CEO Max Levchin featuring Tradesy founder and CEO Tracy DiNunzio and Peloton co-founder Graham Stanton.

Kobe Bryant, an 18-time All-Star professional basketball player who won five NBA championships while playing with the Los Angeles Lakers, will close out the show as he discusses the evolution of his personal brand, directing his own NIKE and BodyArmor commercials, establishing his Kobe Inc. content creation studio and forming his own media, technology and data venture fund after retiring from the NBA.

To learn more about the conference, visit www.shop.org. Complimentary registration is available to editorial members of the news media as well as accredited retail analysts and bloggers. To register, visit the Shop.org media registration page.

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

NRF: Americans are expected to spend more than ever on gifts for Father’s Day this year

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-06 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans are expected to spend more than ever on gifts for Father’s Day this year with the biggest share going to special outings like a ballgame, concert or dinner, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insight & Analytics.

Father’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average $134.75 for the holiday, up from last year’s $125.92. With 77 percent of consumers surveyed celebrating, total spending is expected to reach $15.5 billion. That’s the highest number in the survey’s 15-year history, topping last year’s previous record of $14.3 billion.

“It’s encouraging to see that consumers are spending on special occasions such as Father’s Day,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “This is a positive sign of strong consumer confidence heading into the second half of the year, and a good deal for all the dads who will reap the benefits.”

The survey found 27 percent of dads would love to receive a “gift of experience” for Father’s Day — and 25 percent of shoppers plan to grant that wish with gifts like tickets to a concert or a sporting event. When dinners, brunches and other types of “fun activity/experience” are included, consumers plan to spend $3.3 billion on special outings, which will be given by 48 percent of those surveyed.

Next up on the spending list is $2.2 billion on gift cards (given by 43 percent), followed by $2.2 billion on clothing (46 percent) and $1.8 billion on consumer electronics (21 percent). Personal care products such as a bottle of cologne (21 percent) total $888 million, slightly edging out home improvement supplies (16 percent) at $885 million. Greeting cards are the most common gift, purchased by 64 percent of consumers, but only account for $861 million of projected spending.

“With shoppers planning to be more generous to dad this year, the personal care category will be one to watch,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “Planned spending on items like cologne, aftershave and razors rose nearly 20 percent year-over-year, outpacing growth in every other gift category for Father’s Day.”

When searching for the perfect gift, 40 percent of consumers will head to department stores, 34 percent will shop online, 26 percent will shop at a discount store, 24 percent at a specialty store and 19 percent at a local small business. Among smartphone owners, 33 percent will use them to research gift ideas but only 18 percent will use them to make a purchase. Tablets are used slightly less frequently to research (32 percent) but slightly more frequently to buy (19 percent).

More than half of those surveyed plan to buy for their fathers or stepfathers (54 percent) while others will shop for their husbands (29 percent) or sons (10 percent).

The survey of 7,335 consumers was conducted May 2-9 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & 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.ProsperInsights.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.

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

Source: NRF

NRF: Retail industry employment down by 8,500 jobs in May from April

WASHINGTON, 2017-Jun-05 — /EPR Retail News/ — Retail industry employment decreased by 8,500 jobs in May from April, the National Retail Federation said today (June 2, 2017), while average hourly earnings were up 2.5 percent on a year-over-year basis, in line with growth in recent months. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The overall economy gained 138,000 jobs in May, the Labor Department said.

“Though job growth in the retail industry decelerated in May, employment overall is above what is needed to keep sustained growth in the economy,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Solid fundamentals in the job market are encouraging for retail spending, as employment gains generate additional income for consumers and consequently increase spending.”

“We’ve seen a seesaw of gains and losses in retail employment over the past several months, reflective of the ongoing transformation of our industry,” Kleinhenz said. “While we are looking for a new equilibrium in retail employment, it will take time for the industry to adjust to rapid changes in consumer spending habits and demographic patterns.”

“We are optimistic that in the months ahead Congress and the Administration will continue to make progress on the regulatory reform agenda and make policy changes like comprehensive tax reform to help the economy grow and create new jobs,” Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO said.

On a three-month moving average on a seasonally adjusted basis, retail employment shows a decline of 17,900 jobs. The Labor Department said April unemployment fell to 4.3 percent, the lowest it has been in more than a decade.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics data, the retail industry currently has over 548,000 job openings.

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

NRF urges Congress to focus on updating the existing federal income tax system rather than moving toward a consumption tax

WASHINGTON, 2017-May-19 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (May 18, 2017) urged Congress to focus on updating the existing federal income tax system through comprehensive reform rather than moving toward a consumption tax. Under either approach, Congress should reject a proposed $1 trillion border adjustment tax that would drive up prices for consumers and cost the economy jobs, NRF said.

“The most important aspect of any tax reform measure is its impact on the economy, jobs and the consumer,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said, noting that consumer spending represents two-thirds of the economy and that retail supports one out of four U.S. jobs.

“Tax reform that shifts the burden of the corporate tax to the consumer would present an unnecessary risk to our nation’s economy,” French said. “Instead, we support a reform of the current income tax structure by providing a broad base and low rates. We believe that approach rather than a shift toward a consumption tax would bring the greatest economic efficiency and stimulate economic growth without causing the economic dislocations inherent in the transition to a new tax system.”

French’s comments came in a letter to the House Ways and Means Committee, which is scheduled to hold a hearing today on “How Tax Reform Will Grow Our Economy and Create Jobs.” The hearing is expected to focus on the “Better Way” tax reform proposal sponsored by Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., and committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas.

The Ryan-Brady plan would transition the United States from its longstanding income tax system toward a consumption tax system. French said studies conducted for NRF show that alone would cause retail spending and employment to decline for an estimated six years. The plan also includes a proposal for a 20 percent border adjustment tax on imports, which French said would cause an even steeper decline in spending. NRF is leading the retail industry’s opposition to the BAT proposal, which is expected to be the subject of an additional hearing next week.

“We believe there are better options for tax reform that would achieve economic growth and not shift the burden to the consumer,” French said. He recommended that lawmakers consider as examples the 1986 Tax Reform Act enacted during the Reagan administration and the Tax Reform Act of 2014, which was proposed by former Ways and Means Chairman Dave Camp, R-Mich., but never saw passage.

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.com

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

Source: NRF

NRF monthly Global Port Tracker report: retail imports should see steady increases through the summer and into the fall

WASHINGTON, 2017-May-11 — /EPR Retail News/ — Imports at the nation’s major retail container ports should see steady increases through the summer and into the fall, according to the monthly Global Port Tracker report released today (May 9, 2017) by the National Retail Federation and Hackett Associates.

“Regardless of whether the sales come in their stores or through their websites, retailers see that consumers are buying more this year and they’re importing the goods needed to meet the demand,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jonathan Gold said. “With unemployment at its lowest level in a decade and the economy adding jobs, retailers expect shoppers to continue to increase their spending.”

“In the United States, the economy continues to slowly grow,” Hackett Associates Founder Ben Hackett said. “Gross domestic product was lower than expected in the first quarter but unemployment has dropped to levels not seen since before the Great Recession and, best of all, labor employment has increased dramatically. Our view, therefore, remains unchanged: There is nothing to worry about in the first half of the year, and growth is expected to continue in the second half even if it comes at a slower rate.”

Ports covered by Global Port Tracker handled 1.53 million Twenty-Foot Equivalent Units in March, the latest month for which after-the-fact numbers are available. That was up 6.8 percent from February, when many Asian factories closed for Lunar New Year, and up 15.8 percent from unusually low numbers the same month a year ago, when Lunar New Year came a week later than this year. One TEU is one 20-foot-long cargo container or its equivalent.

April was estimated at 1.56 million TEU, up 8.3 percent from the same time last year. May is forecast at 1.66 million TEU, up 2.6 percent from last year; June at 1.62 million TEU, up 3.3 percent; July at 1.68 million TEU, up 3.1 percent; August at 1.74 million TEU, up 1.6 percent, and September at 1.65 million TEU, up 3.6 percent.

The first half of 2017 is expected to total 9.5 million TEU, up 5.6 percent from the first half of 2016. Cargo volume for 2016 totaled 18.8 million TEU, up 3.1 percent from 2015, which had grown 5.4 percent from 2014.

NRF has forecast that 2017 retail sales – excluding automobiles, gasoline and restaurants – will increase between 3.7 and 4.2 percent over 2016, driven by job and income growth coupled with low debt. Cargo volume does not correlate directly with sales because only the number of containers is counted, not the value of the cargo inside, but nonetheless provides a barometer of retailers’ expectations.

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.com

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

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

Source: NRF

House Action To Repeal Obamacare Welcomed By Retailers

WASHINGTON, 2017-May-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (May 4, 2017) applauded the House for passing the American Health Care Act, legislation that would repeal the Affordable Care Act.

“Nothing in health care is ever easy or simple, but the House has shown its commitment to closing the book on Obamacare,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said.  “The American Health Care Act is not perfect, but if we are going to get to a health care system that works without mandates and stifling regulation, the process has to start somewhere. This bill is an important milestone on that journey.”

On Wednesday, NRF sent a letter to House leadership urging lawmakers to take advantage of a “real opportunity” to repeal the ACA rather than continue to debate details of the bill and risk failing to move forward.

Like its predecessor, the revised version of the American Health Care Act passed by the House today would use budget reconciliation procedures to repeal key parts of the 2010 Affordable Care Act. That means the legislation could be passed by the Senate with only 51 votes rather than the 60 normally required to overcome an expected filibuster, but also limits the repeal to provisions of the ACA that have a revenue impact. NRF nonetheless believes that the bill would achieve substantial change.

An earlier version of the bill was scheduled for a vote in March but action was delayed because conservative House members wanted a more complete repeal of the ACA.

Among other actions supported by NRF, the legislation would effectively repeal the ACA’s employer mandate that businesses provide health insurance to full-time workers. While budget reconciliation does not allow the mandate to be repealed outright, the bill would reduce the penalties for non-compliance to zero.

The legislation would also delay the so-called Cadillac Tax on high-value health plans until 2026, and would repeal its health insurance tax, medical device tax and pharmaceutical tax permanently. It would also increase flexibility for health savings accounts and would take a substantial first step toward Medicaid reform.

NRF opposed passage of Obamacare and has sought its repeal, while working with Congress to mitigate the impact of its most onerous provisions. Rather than lowering costs, the controversial law emphasizes mandates that have driven up health insurance expenses for both employers and employees.

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

NRF calls on the House Financial Services Committee to reject efforts to repeal debit card swipe fee reform

WASHINGTON, 2017-May-03 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (May 2, 2017) called on the House Financial Services Committee to reject efforts to repeal debit card swipe fee reform as it considers approval of the Financial Choice Act.

“Debit card swipe fee reform has brought competition and transparency to the debit card payments market,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “Repealing reform would only undermine transparency and competition, further lining banks’ pockets.”

“Swipe fees are a major concern, especially for small retailers,” French said. “If debit swipe fee reform is repealed, costs to retailers will only increase, meaning higher prices for consumers and less opportunity for retailers to grow their businesses, provide jobs and support community efforts. Rather than repeal a successful provision of law that has brought competition into the payments market, we encourage Congress to support the future of payments and make sure competition is protected.”

French’s comments came in a letter to the committee, which began debate this morning on the Financial Choice Act, legislation sponsored by Chairman Jeb Hensarling, R-Texas, that would repeal debit swipe fee reform as part of a larger rollback of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act. Committee approval of the bill could come today or Wednesday, with a vote by the full House expected later this month.

The committee is moving forward today even though only a single hearing has been held on the nearly 600-page bill. No retailers were allowed to testify at last week’s hearing despite the impact of the swipe fee issue on the industry. Nonetheless, dozens of retailers held more than 100 meetings on the issue with lawmakers on Capitol Hill the same day. NRF submitted a statement for the record and is running digital ads and has delivered more than 7,000 email petitions addressing consumer benefits and competition that urge Congress to preserve debit card reform.

Debit reform was enacted as part of Dodd-Frank in response to the card industry’s practice of price-fixing the debit card “swipe” fees banks charge merchants to process transactions. The fees previously averaged 1-2 percent of the purchase amount, and virtually all banks that issue cards charged the same.

Under reform regulations that took effect in October 2011, large banks are limited to 22 cents per transaction, down from about 45 cents in the past. The limit saved retailers about $8.5 billion in the first year alone, with close to $6 billion of the savings passed along to consumers, according to a study by economist Robert Shapiro. Banks that set the fees competitively and independently are exempt from the limit, but virtually none have done so. Banks with under $10 billion in assets are also exempt.

Reform also required that merchants be given at least two choices in the networks that route debit transactions to the bank for processing, typically one controlled by Visa or MasterCard and a competing, independent network that offers advantages such as lower fees, better service or better security.

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.com

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

Source: NRF

NRF: Consumers say they will spend more than ever on this year’s Mother’s Day

WASHINGTON, 2017-Apr-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — Consumers say they will spend more than ever on Mother’s Day this year as they shower moms with everything from jewelry to special outings at favorite restaurants, according to the National Retail Federation’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics.

Mother’s Day shoppers are expected to spend an average of $186.39 for the holiday, up from last year’s $172.22. With 85 percent of consumers surveyed celebrating the holiday, total spending is expected to reach $23.6 billion. That’s the highest number in the survey’s 14-year history, topping last year’s previous record of $21.4 billion.

“With spring in full bloom, many Americans are looking forward to splurging on their mothers this Mother’s Day,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers will be ready with a wide range of gift options and a variety of promotions for their customers.”

According to the survey, consumers plan to spend $5 billion on jewelry (purchased by 36 percent of shoppers), $4.2 billion on special outings such as dinner or brunch (56 percent), $2.6 billion on flowers (69 percent), $2.5 billion on gift cards (45 percent), $2.1 billion on clothing (37 percent), $2 billion on consumer electronics (15 percent) and $1.9 billion on personal services such as a spa day (24 percent).

The overall increase is expected to be driven largely by spending on jewelry, which is up 19 percent, and personal services, up 15 percent.

When it comes to “gifts of experience” such as tickets to a concert or hot air balloon ride, 28 percent want to receive such a gift, compared with 24 percent last year. Younger consumers in particular may be looking to create a special memory, with nearly half under the age of 35 planning to give such a gift.

“Consumers are planning to open up their wallets a little bit more to celebrate the women with the most important jobs in the world on Mother’s Day,” Prosper Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “We will see older Millennials (25-34) spend the most, and younger consumers are putting their online shopping skills to good use to purchase their moms the perfect gift.”

When searching for the perfect gift, 35 percent of consumers will head to department stores and 31 percent will shop at specialty stores such as florists, jewelers or electronics stores, while 24 percent plan to shop at a local small business. Meanwhile, 30 percent will shop online, up from 27 percent last year. Among smartphone owners, 34 percent will research gift ideas on their phones while 19 percent will use them to make a purchase.

The survey, which asked 7,406 consumers about their Mother’s Day plans, was conducted April 4-11 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.2 percentage points. Full data results will not be published on NRF.com but news media and analysts who require additional information can contact press@nrf.com.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & 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

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: NRF

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

NRF: Retail industry employment decreased by 30,300 jobs in March from February

WASHINGTON, 2017-Apr-08 — /EPR Retail News/ — Retail industry employment decreased by 30,300 jobs in March from February, a substantially weaker-than-expected report due in part to weather patterns from mild temperatures to blizzards, the National Retail Federation said today(April 7, 2017). The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. The overall economy gained 98,000 jobs in March, the Labor Department said.

“The focus should be on wages, which remained strong in March,” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “Wage growth translates into increased spending by consumers and benefits the economy overall. Nonetheless, some retail sectors have grown while others are continuing to adjust job deployment relative to changes in consumer behavior and buying patterns.”

“The rate of improvement in the labor market continues in a roller coaster pattern, but its pace is moving in the right direction and is probably consistent with an economy in its eighth year of expansion,” Kleinhenz said.

Average hourly earnings remained strong, coming in 2.7 percent higher than the same time a year ago compared with 2.8 percent in February. On a three-month moving average, retail employment shows a decline of 12,600 jobs.

The Labor Department said March unemployment fell to 4.5 percent, down from 4.7 percent in February and the lowest since May 2007.

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

FMI and NRF to combine existing risk and safety signature events into one cross-industry gathering

ORLANDO, 2017-Mar-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) and the National Retail Federation (NRF) will partner on PROTECT in 2018, according to a live joint announcement made today (March 21, 2017) at the Audit, Safety, Asset Protection Conference in Orlando. The two associations will combine their existing risk and safety signature events into one cross-industry gathering starting in 2018.

The association executives for each group offered the following statements about the future of their working relationship and meeting the specialized needs of loss prevention, risk and safety, organized retail crime investigators, risk management and retail operations professionals:

FMI President and CEO Leslie G. Sarasin said, “Respecting the changing grocery landscape and the intense consolidation our industry has witnessed over the last several years, our trade groups are making similar strategic decisions to maximize efficiencies and deliver greater value to the audiences we serve. Our partnership with NRF on PROTECT 2018 will afford our food retail members the opportunity to expand their horizons, network in a larger sphere and get at the root of what they seek to do best – mitigate risk.”

NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said, “Securing retail brands, assets, people and profits is the essence of PROTECT’s brand promise. We are enthusiastic to amplify the sphere of influence of this gathering and ultimately help deliver the resources and information necessary to safeguard, prepare, protect and defend the nation’s commerce streams.”

More information about PROTECT in Dallas on June 11-18, 2018 will be forthcoming at this year’s PROTECT being held at the Gaylord in Washington DC June 26 -28.

About FMI
Food Marketing Institute proudly advocates on behalf of the food retail industry. FMI’s U.S. members operate nearly 40,000 retail food stores and 25,000 pharmacies, representing a combined annual sales volume of almost $770 billion. Through programs in public affairs, food safety, research, education and industry relations, FMI offers resources and provides valuable benefits to more than 1,225 food retail and wholesale member companies in the United States and around the world. FMI membership covers the spectrum of diverse venues where food is sold, including single owner grocery stores, large multi-store supermarket chains and mixed retail stores. For more information, visit www.fmi.org; for information regarding the FMI foundation, visit www.fmifoundation.org.

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

NRF: St. Patrick’s Day spending expected to reach an all-time high

WASHINGTON, 2017-Mar-09 — /EPR Retail News/ — Americans will spend more than ever as they put on their favorite green outfits to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, the National Retail Federation said today (March 8, 2017). According to NRF’s annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, spending for St. Patrick’s Day is expected to reach $5.3 billion, an all-time high in the survey’s 13-year history.

More than 139 million Americans plan to celebrate the Irish holiday, and are expected to spend an average of $37.92 per person, up from last year’s $35.37 and a new record that tops the previous record of $36.52 set in 2015. The $5.3 billion total is up dramatically from last year’s $4.4 billion and tops the previous record of $4.8 billion set in 2014.

“Now that winter is almost behind us and with St. Patrick’s Day falling on a Friday, we will see more Americans getting together to celebrate with friends and family,” NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. “Retailers should expect a nice boost in sales as consumers purchase apparel, decorations, food and beverages to help make their celebrations special.”

According to the survey, 83 percent of celebrants will wear green to show their Irish pride, 31 percent plan to make a special dinner and 27 percent will head to a party at a bar or restaurant. Twenty-three percent will decorate their homes or offices in an Irish theme and 15 percent will attend a private party. In addition, 15 percent are planning to attend a St. Patrick’s Day parade, especially those living in the Northeast (21 percent).

The survey found that 52 percent of celebrants will purchase food, 41 percent beverages, 28 percent apparel or accessories, 22 percent decorations and 14 percent buy candy. Of those making purchases, 39 percent will go to grocery stores, 29 percent to discount stores, 21 percent to bars/restaurants and 18 percent to department stores.

“St. Patrick’s Day is a time for consumers of all ages to have fun and celebrate all things Irish whether it is attending a parade, cooking an Irish meal, or meeting friends at a bar or restaurant,” Prosper Insights Principal Analyst Pam Goodfellow said. “While more Americans are planning to celebrate the shamrock-filled day, expect Millennials to take the lead among the festivities.”

The holiday is most popular among individuals 18-24 years old, with 77 percent celebrating, but those 25-34 will be the biggest spenders at an average $46.55.

The survey, which asked 7,609 consumers about their St. Patrick’s Day plans, was conducted February 1-8 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 1.1 percentage points. Full data results will not be published on NRF.com but news media and analysts who require additional information can contact press@nrf.com.

About Prosper Insights & Analytics
Prosper Insights & 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

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

NRF launches new media campaign to educate Americans on the high consumer cost of border adjustment tax

WASHINGTON, 2017-Mar-01 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (February 28, 2017) launched a television, print and digital ad campaign to educate Americans on the high consumer cost of the border adjustment tax. The BAT is included in the House Republican leadership’s “Better Way” plan for tax reform. While NRF strongly supports tax reform, the BAT is bad tax policy that would increase costs on everyday necessities like food, gas, clothing and prescription medicines for the average family by as much as $1,700 in the first year alone.

“American consumers are being asked to foot the bill for a new $1 trillion tax giveaway for multinational companies, and this campaign will make sure those paying for it know it,” NRF Senior Vice President for Government Relations David French said. “We need tax reform that rewards entrepreneurs and allows businesses to grow and create good-paying jobs that lift working families up. The BAT does just the opposite, penalizing Americans by adding a tax on clothing, food, gas and other necessities while threatening the very industry that 42 million hardworking men and women rely upon for their livelihoods.”

The TV spot can be viewed on the campaign landing page, bat.tax, and will air starting today on the Fox News Channel’s morning program, “FOX and Friends,” and during the NBC show “Saturday Night Live” this Saturday, March 4. The television ads will be supported with a digital and print campaign and will encourage consumers to contact their members of Congress to express opposition to the border adjustment tax.

The BAT threatens America’s largest private-sector employer, putting at risk millions more jobs than it would allegedly create for manufacturing. Retailers support one out of four U.S. jobs, or 42 million positions — but a BAT could cause retailers to see tax bills three to five times the amount of their profits, threatening to drive some merchants out of business. The small retailers that make up 98 percent of the retail industry and provide 40 percent of its jobs would be at the biggest risk.

National Retail Federation
TV :60
“AS SEEN ON TV”

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Then you need … the BAT TAX!

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Don’t delay, call Congress today! Staffers are standing by.

Visit our website at bat.tax to learn more. That’s B-A-T-dot-T-A-X.

The BAT Tax – don’t forget, the “T” stands for Tax.

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

NRF calls on U.S. Maritime Alliance and ILA to work together to avoid one-day shutdown of East Coast and Gulf Coast ports

WASHINGTON, 2017-Feb-25 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation today (February 23, 2017) called on the U.S. Maritime Alliance and the International Longshoremen’s Association to work together to avoid a one-day shutdown of East Coast and Gulf Coast ports proposed by the ILA.

“Thousands of companies and millions of workers rely on these ports and any disruption to their activity even for a day could have a negative impact on the U.S. economy.” Jon Gold NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy

“Thousands of companies and millions of workers rely on these ports and any disruption to their activity even for a day could have a negative impact on the U.S. economy,” NRF Vice President for Supply Chain and Customs Policy Jon Gold said. “While the union might have concerns with certain local government actions, engaging in a coastwide shutdown is not the answer. We encourage labor and management to work together and with the government to arrive at a solution that does not disrupt the efficient movement of goods through the nation’s ports.”

“We applaud the fact that the ILA and the U.S. Maritime Alliance have begun informal discussions on a contract extension well in advance of the current contract expiration, but proposing a shutdown runs counter to this spirit of cooperation and may threaten this positive action,” Gold said. “We urge the ILA to reconsider its plans and avoid damaging the image of East Coast and Gulf Coast ports as reliable business partners for retailers and other shippers.”

Maritime trade publications have reported this week that the ILA is planning a one-day shutdown and march on Washington to protest “government interference” by the Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor and state port operators in the Southeast. No date for the proposed shutdown has been announced.

NRF’s most recent monthly Global Port Tracker report forecasts that imports at the nation’s major retail container ports are expected to increase 4.6 percent during the first half of 2017 over the same period last year as the nation’s economy improves and retail sales continue to grow.

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

NRF and RILA urges supreme court not to revive controversial 2012 settlement of credit card swipe fees

WASHINGTON, 2017-Feb-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association today (February 21, 2017) asked the U.S. Supreme Court to let stand an appeals court ruling that struck down a controversial 2012 settlement of a class action lawsuit over Visa and MasterCard’s credit card swipe fees.

“This alleged ‘settlement’ was a backroom deal that would have done nothing to end price fixing or keep swipe fees from soaring in the future,” NRF Senior Vice President and General Counsel Mallory Duncan said. “Even worse, it includes a provision that would keep merchants from ever suing over this issue again. The Circuit Court did the right thing in tossing this case out and it should not be revived. There are ways to bring swipe fees under control but this settlement is not one of them.”

“This is not just a business-to-business dispute,” Duncan said. “These fees drive up the price of retail merchandise, costing the average family hundreds of dollars a year in added expenses.”

The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last year struck down a $7.25 billion antitrust settlement approved by U.S. District Court Judge John Gleeson in a 2005 lawsuit brought by a small group of retailers and trade associations claiming to represent the retail industry.

Gleeson approved the settlement even though NRF and others argued that it failed to reform the price-fixing system under which Visa and MasterCard set fees for credit cards issued by thousands of banks. Rather than lower the fees, the card companies proposed in the settlement that they be passed along to consumers as a surcharge. Major retailers rejected the surcharge proposal, saying it was the opposite of what they sought, while small retailers would have seen as little as a few hundred dollars each. Retailers who rejected the monetary settlement would have still been bound by other restrictions the court would not let them opt out of, including a prohibition on future lawsuits over the fees.

NRF in 2014 asked the 2nd Circuit to overturn the settlement, saying a broad cross section of the retail industry ranging from independent Main Street stores to national chains opposed the deal. The appeals court ruled in NRF’s favor last year, saying that merchants “were inadequately represented” in the case. That ruling, however, has been appealed to the Supreme Court by some of the original plaintiffs.

“The settlement itself achieved nothing important for merchants that accept credit cards, which is why every prominent group that represents merchants has opposed it,” NRF and RILA said in a joint brief filed today with the Supreme Court. “This deal is a bad one, unworthy of resuscitation.”

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

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

Source: NRF

RILA and NRF oppose the attempt of banks and credit card companies to convince SCOTUS to reinstate unfair settlement terms of MDL1720

Arlington , VA, 2017-Feb-23 — /EPR Retail News/ — Today (2/22/2017), the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) and National Retail Federation (NRF) filed a joint brief opposing the attempt of large banks and credit card companies to convince the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the unfair settlement terms of MDL1720 – the lawsuit challenging the anti-competitive behavior of major financial services industry players in setting credit card fees. The case is captioned “Photos, Etc. Corp, et al. v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc., et al.”

The Second Circuit vacated the MDL1720 settlement after finding that the settlement was developed by conflicted counsel and granted the banks and card networks “permanent immunity” from scrutiny of their anti-competitive practices. In their request for an appeal of the lower court’s decision, the proponents of the settlement claimed to speak for the merchant community.

In the brief filed today, RILA and NRF, the trade associations that actually represent the retail community on a day-to-day basis, explained that the merchant community broadly opposes the settlement and are, in fact, “united in the view that this deal is a bad one, unworthy of resuscitation.”

“Merchants and consumers continue to suffer from the anti-competitive practices of banks and card networks. The plaintiffs’ suggestion that they represent the interests of the broader merchant community defies common sense given the unprecedented level of merchant objection expressed at the Second Circuit and in today’s brief.The Supreme Court should not grant certiorari in this case but, instead, should allow the Second Circuit’s decision to stand, thereby providing the potential for a more reasonable outcome for all parties,” said Deborah White, RILA senior executive vice president and general counsel.

According to the brief:

“Vacating this settlement and correcting the structural flaws that led to it in the first place may allow the parties to go back to the drawing board to reach a settlement with terms that are more fair.”

“Faced with the choice between a “confiscat[ory]” release that “permanently immunizes” defendants’ anti-competitive conduct and no settlement at all—thereby preserving merchants’ future right to pursue these claims— merchants prefer the latter, further demonstrating why certiorari should not be granted.”

The brief concludes:

“For the reasons stated above and in Merchant Respondents’ Brief in Opposition, the petition for a writ of certiorari should be denied.”

The full brief, drafted by Debra L. Greenberger and Andrew G. Celli, Jr. of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady, LLP, can be read here.

RILA is the trade association of the world’s largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

Contact:

Christin Fernandez
Vice President, Communications
Phone: 703-600-2039
Email: Christin.fernandez@rila.org

Source: RILA