100th annual NRF Convention Opens in New York City

The National Retail Federation’s Annual Convention & Expo kicked off  at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on Sunday, Jan. 9, with a lineup of power speakers and plenty of buzz. It is the 100th anniversary of  annual event, which attracts retailers from around the world.

This year, the four-day NRF show featured more than 600 exhibiting companies, new retail technology pavilions, and presentations from a stellar line-up of top-tier retailers. Total attendance was estimated at more than 18,500, with representatives from 70 countries.

Terry Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s, and NRF chairman, officially welcomed conference attendees, urging them to get involved in NRF’s various efforts. He also made a point of noting that the retail and restaurant industries account for one in five jobs in America.

Mobile commerce, multichannel integration, business analytics and data security were among the most talked-about topics at this year’s show. Also, Facebook took a booth at the event, representing the increasingly important role that social media plays in the retail industry.

Sustainability was another hot topic at the show. In a presentation entitled “The Many Shades of Green,” Paco Underhill, founder and CEO, Envirosell, said that as true sustainable environment will be the result of a fundamental change in how we live. Sustainable business practices, and living a green life, is no longer a political or financial issue, according to Underhill. Rather, it is a moral one.

The 2012 NRF Annual Convention will be held January 15-18, 2012, also at the Javits Center.