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The National Retail Federation (NRF) has revealed a multimillion-dollar investment to form a new research department. The Retail Research and Analysis Center will unite all existing research within the trade organization and expand upon the broad range of issues and trends it already studies, with the four main areas of focus to be the economy, legislative and regulatory policy, the retail industry, and consumers.
"NRF is at the forefront of research and analysis that impact our industry, the consumers it serves and the economy in which it operates," noted Matthew Shay, president and CEO of Washington, D.C.-based NRF. "By significantly investing in the future expansion and scope of NRF research, our members will have additional tools and insight as they operate in a very dynamic marketplace, and our advocates will have the facts they need to advance retail’s policy agenda."
With the establishment of the new center, Ellen Davis will take on the role of NRF’s SVP of research and strategic initiatives, while also continuing as the executive director of the NRF Foundation.
"Studies, surveys, white papers and critical analysis by industry leaders help us frame policy debates, identify trends and change perceptions about retail’s evolution," explained Davis. "As the nation's largest private-sector employer and an industry that contributes $2.6 trillion dollars annually to the U.S. GDP, the retail industry impacts all sectors of our economy and is uniquely positioned to provide business insights and analysis to shape key debates in Washington."
NRF has launched a search for a VP of research development and industry analysis who will report to Davis. As well as tapping current staff and consultant resources, the organization anticipates hiring additional dedicated staffers.
"The formation and funding of the Retail Research and Analysis Center will allow us to take this important function to the next level, with the resources necessary to deliver real results for our members and the industry," added Shay.