Tracy Mullin, CEO of the National Retail Federation (NRF), in view of these depressing economic times, wrote an open letter to retailers about what the NRF is doing to help retailers. We bring you excerpts
“We thought this would be a good time to provide an overview of what we are doing to assist retailers in this current challenging environment:
- Creating educational conference content to address how retailers can power through an economic downturn and how to bounce back. NRF’s Annual Convention in January will showcase renowned retail experts and analysts who will address how companies can navigate a turbulent economy and discuss what’s in store for the industry in 2009. . . . The Retail Advertising Conference in February will dig deeper into how retailers can manage marketing ROI in a down economy, and our Loss Prevention Conference in June will provide information and next steps to tackle the economy’s impact on retail crime and violence.
- Thinking outside the box to compensate for retailers’ lower travel budgets. To keep travel expenses low, NRF is renegotiating lower hotel rates for conferences and events. We are also working with travel agencies to help attendees find low airfares and are pushing back some registration deadlines. When possible, NRF is making some committee meetings virtual, which gives retailers the opportunity to discuss important industry issues without leaving their offices.
- Adding complimentary educational opportunities for retailers to monitor consumer trends.
- Applying pressure on Congress and the new administration for an economic stimulus plan that includes the consumer. NRF was instrumental in the successful passage of an economic stimulus plan last winter that put more than $100 billion into the pockets of consumers. In October, our policy team — which has been named one of the most powerful trade groups in Washington — went back to Congress to illustrate the need for a new stimulus package offering additional direct relief to consumers.
- Achieving legislative victories on Capitol Hill. NRF won committee approval of legislation that would require Visa and MasterCard to negotiate over credit card processing fees that cost retailers an estimated $48 billion a year. We also convinced lawmakers to enact an update of tax depreciation rules that will save retailers $1 billion a year when they remodel their stores and were instrumental in the introduction of legislation that would make organized retail theft a federal crime.”
Well, this may or may not make a difference for your particular store, but it seems nice to know that this huge national organization is trying to help. Perhaps you can check into what your state association is doing as well or offer suggestions as to what the state association could do to help.