NRF Launches Campaign to Enhance Retail Industry’s Perception

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This is RetailWashington–Does retail suffer from a perception problem? The National Retail Federation (NRF), the largest retail trade association, thinks that the retail business could use some image enhancement beyond the fact retailers provide consumers with great products.

Issues such as industry’s opportunities for life-long careers, how retailers strengthen communities at home and abroad, and the critical role that retail plays in driving innovation are just a few that the NRF hopes to feature in its “This is Retail: Careers, Community, Innovation” campaign which launches today.

Matthew Shay, NRF president/ceo, laid out plans for the campaign today while addressing students and top retail executives from Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s, One Kings Lane, The Hudson Bay Company, and Tory Burch during the Global Retailing Conference in Tucson, AZ.

“Our industry has a perception problem–and we need to address it head on. We will counter the myths about our industry with research and stories that show the true face of retail,” Shay said. “That, in fact, retail offers richly rewarding and diverse career opportunities, is central to communities, big and small, and that retail is at the forefront of innovation. By fundamentally transforming the perception of retail, we will ensure the industry continues to thrive and grow.”

Retail Offers What Young Adults Are Looking for in a Career

As part of its efforts to raise awareness about retail as a career path, NRF today also released new research that sheds light on why NRF is undertaking the task of broadening the perceptions that exist about the retail industry.

In general, the research shows that the average young adult values aspects of community, innovation and prosperous career opportunities when considering a company as a potential employer. One-quarter (25.3%) of 18 to 24 year olds say companies whose mission and values match their own is important to them when considering a future employer, and about 1 in 5 (18.2%) say that having a reputation for giving back to the community is important.

This is Retail campaignAdditionally, nearly four in 10 (38.9%) say that learning a new or innovative technology is an experience and skill they’d want to gain at their first “real” job.

The survey also examines the job priorities of college students who have already or are currently pursuing a career in retail. According to these students, the No. 1 reason they’re interested in retail for a career is because it’s “exciting compared to other industries” (70.2%). Students are also strongly drawn to the leadership opportunities in the industry (43.6%) and the work/life balance they can find with a career in retail (26%). to Showcase ‘Inspiring Retail Stories’

A centerpiece of the This Is Retail campaign is an interactive site,, which will fully launch in June with dynamic, original content, the latest industry news, retail case studies and research.

The campaign will also be marked by significant investments in grassroots, social media and communications, including:

• A This is Retail Road Show and calendar of events that will include thought-leadership from industry insiders on how changing the perception of retail is critical to growth;

•The release of new, original research that explores trends within community-building, retail innovation and what young people are looking for as they enter the job market;

•Social media crowd-sourcing initiatives, with heavy emphasis on gathering creative content and stories;

•New grassroots initiatives to enhance policy-makers’ understanding of the industry, including retail roundtables in targeted congressional districts;

•National advertising in multiple media including print, digital and radio.


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