Last week, NRF hosted its Retail Advocates Summit, the retail industry’s premier advocacy event. The Summit was a celebration of the industry coming together — major iconic retail brands along with Main Street independents — to demonstrate retail’s impact every day in communities they serve.
It was also an opportunity for retailers to connect with policymakers about issues impacting their businesses, employees and customers. At this year’s Summit, NRF completely reimagined the traditional fly-in format and had 102 lawmakers participate in The Retail Experience — an interactive journey through the retail industry with six immersive exhibits that demonstrate retail’s role in driving the economy, providing jobs and strengthening lives and communities across the country.
Several retailers brought their unique impact stories to life in The Retail Experience, including Alibaba Group, Amazon, Best Buy Health, Inspire Brands, Lowe’s, Macy’s, Publix, Qurate Retail Group, Salesforce, Target and Walmart.
As part of The Retail Experience, policymakers engaged with NRF’s new Inflationland infographic that illustrates the costly journey of everyday products. Members of Congress were particularly interested in the labor challenges that businesses in their states are facing.
NRF presented more than 200 lawmakers with the Champion of Main Street and Hero of Main Street awards for their continued support for the industry through legislative actions on issues like easing inflation and addressing the ongoing labor shortage.
We personally thanked Sen. Roger Marshall, R-Kan., for his leadership on credit card routing legislation that will create greater competition in the payments industry, and Reps. John Garamendi, D-Calif., and Dusty Johnson, R-S.D., for their leadership on the Ocean Shipping Reform Act.
The Summit wrapped up with an industry celebration dinner sponsored by Klarna, where we named Margaret Barrow, CEO and founder of It’s NOLA, as NRF’s 2022 America’s Retail Champion of the Year. Barrow was selected out of 34 companies and five finalists in our America’s Retail Champions program, recognizing small businesses that are exceptional champions for retail and their communities.
“Every single person I have met at NRF has created a ripple effect in my person,” said Barrow in her acceptance speech. “I thank you for honoring [small businesses] tonight.”