NRF campaign promotes retail as a career option

WASHINGTON: The National Retail Federation has launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to broaden perceptions of its industry beyond one of part-time jobs with limited advancement opportunities.

WASHINGTON: The National Retail Federation has launched a multi-million-dollar campaign to broaden perceptions of its industry beyond one of part-time jobs with limited advancement opportunities.

The “This is Retail: Careers, Community, Innovation” effort will highlight the fact that there are many full-time positions and lifelong career possibilities in the industry. NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay unveiled the effort Thursday morning at the Global Retailing Conference in Tucson, AZ.

It is the organization's largest-ever campaign in terms of scope and size, said Bill Thorne, SVP of communications at the NRF. Thorne joined the NRF last year after leaving his post as senior director of community affairs at Walmart.

The effort is expected to run into next year. While he declined to specify a budget, Thorne said he expects the NRF will spend a seven-figure amount during the campaign's lifespan. Agency Media Rain is supporting the digitally focused initiative.

“There is a common misnomer that you can't advance in the retail field…we have to get people to understand that retail isn't only for college kids working part-time,” Thorne said. “It's a hard perception to change because people don't see beyond the cash register or aisles being stocked.”

To support its argument, the NRF has launched the ThisIsRetail.org website to showcase stories of people with fulfilling careers in the retail industry. In June, it will add original content, such as industry news, retail case studies, and research to the site.

Other campaign components include a This is Retail road show, social media crowdsourcing initiatives, and a grassroots effort to enhance policymakers' understanding of the industry, which will include retail roundtables in targeted congressional districts.

A significant national advertising component spanning various platforms will also promote the effort.

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