The National Retail Federation
is the world's largest retail trade association
. Its members include department store, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, and independent retailers, and chain restaurants and grocery stores. Members also include businesses that provide goods and services to retailers. NRF represents an industry that contains over 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments with more than 24 million employees and (2005) sales of $4.4 trillion. NRF is also an umbrella group
that represents more than 100 associations of state, national and international retailers.
Major divisions of the NRF include:
- The National Retail Federation Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), an organization with international membership, which works to reduce the costs of technology by helping the implementation of technology standards. ARTS has four standards: The Standard Relational Data Model, UnifiedPOS, ARTS XML and the Standard RFPs.
- The National Council of Chain Restaurants (NCCR), the leading trade association exclusively representing chain restaurant companies, which has existed since the early 1960s.
- Retail Advertising & Marketing Association (RAMA), a trade association of marketing and advertising professionals working at retail companies, and their counterparts who work at advertising agencies and media and service-providers.
- Shop.org, an association of retailers who sell online
- International Retail Federation (IRF), which serves the needs of retailers based outside the United States through networking events, education, products, services and other resources.
The NRF also has a research and education arm, The NRF Foundation (NRFF), a non-profit 501(c)3 organization created in 1981. It conducts industry research, develops education and workforce development programs, and promotes retailing as a career.
The president and CEO of the NRF is Tracy Mullin; he joined NRF in 1976 EW and became president in 1993. As of 2006, the Board of Directors was chaired by M. Farooq Kathwari
, the Chairman, President and CEO of Ethan Allen
. Members of the board included board chairs, CEOs, and/or presidents from Liz Claiborne Inc.
, J.C. Penney
, The Body Shop
, Crate & Barrel
, and numerous other well-known retailers.
- NRF publishes STORES Magazine, monthly, covering the entire range of interests of NRF members, and LPinformation Magazine (formerly LP&Security Trends), bi-monthly, covering loss prevention. STORES also publishes, annually, its Retail Industry Buying Guide and its Software Sourcebook.
- Each of the divisions of NRF has one or more conferences annually. In addition, NRF has an annual conference/convention. The 97th annual one is scheduled to be held in New York City on January 13-16th, with more than 15,000 attendees and 500 vendors expected.
- The organization regularly does sales projections. For example, for the Thanksgiving weekend in 2005, the NRF projected that sales would be 22% above the prior year., based on a survey on Friday and Saturday of the weekend. A Wall Street Journal article after the weekend questioned that projection. By comparison, ShopperTrak RCT Corp., a Chicago market-research company with a different methodology, reported a sales decrease of 0.9% on Friday, and an increase for the weekend of just 0.4%.. In July 2006, NRF predicted a substantial increase in back-to-school sales, and in September 2006 it also predicted a large increase in Halloween spending.
National associations represented by NRF
Among the associations that are members of the NRF in its role as an umbrella organization are: