National Retail Federation
NATIONAL RETAIL FEDERATION
The National Retail Federation (NRF) strives to protect and advance retail industry interests by providing services and conducting programs in government affairs, information technology, education, training, and research. In 2005 NRF members represented more than 1.4 million leading U.S. merchandise, independent, specialty, discount, and mass-merchandise stores; key suppliers to the retail industry; and more than a hundred trade organizations across the globe. NRF's interactive boards and committees, comprised of industry experts in their areas of specialization, are designed to represent and reflect industry's diversity and breadth. These boards and committees formulate and implement policies, standards, guidelines, and strategies that are consistent with retail industry objectives.
The NRF considers itself an advocate for retail organizations across the globe. In December 1997, Fortune magazine, one of the premier publications in the business world, ranked the NRF among the top-thirty lobbying organizations in the nation. Additionally, to assist members financially, NRF's member-discount program pools the membership's buying power to negotiate reductions on a variety of services and products.
NRF's information technology component serves as the retail industry's information technology headquarters. NRF's groups—such as the Information Technology Council and the Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS)—help configure the retail technology environment. They analyze existing and upcoming technologies, as well as potential regulatory and legislative initiatives, and educate private and government entities about retail technology concerns and needs.
The CIO Council (comprised of highly prominent chief information officers who serve by invitation only) meets spring, summer, and winter to address promising technologies, common-interest issues, and to take proactive positions relating to the creation of new-technology environments. Established in 1991, ARTS is comprised of retailer-driven membership striving to facilitate a barrier-free technology environment for retailers internationally through its four standards (Standard Relational Data Model; Unified Point of Service, POS device interface specification; IX Retail standard XML schemas; and application selection guides through RFPs).
Further, through the NRF's various publications (STORES Magazine, Management of Retail Buying, Small Store Survival, Retail Industry Indicators 2005, and many others), valuable information, which can be transformed into best practices, is disseminated. For example, the NRF developed standard color and size codes (used to implement Universal Product Codes) and published them in its Standard Color and Size Code Handbook.
More information is available from the NRF at 325 7th Street NW, Suite 1100, Washington, DC 20004; 800-NRF-HOW2, 202-783-7971 (phone numbers); 202-737-2849 (fax); or, http://www.nrf.com.
see also Retailers
Mary Jean Lush