Despite the massive heat wave that covered much of the country last month, NRF stayed the course on the advocacy and industry beats in July. The NRF’s own government relations team led the charge in the push for sales tax fairness, scoring a small victory for community retailers thanks to a House hearing in late July followed by a Senate hearing today. And while retailers were busy dissecting what the $7 billion swipe fee settlement meant for the industry and consumers, NRF’s digital division Shop.org was gearing up for the annual Online Merchandising Workshop in San Diego. If you can still handle the heat, read on for what else was hot in July.
- NRF’s 4-5-4 calendar secured a spot as one of the most clicked items for the fifth consecutive month. This voluntary report guide for the industry ensures sales comparability between years by dividing the year into months based on a 4 weeks – 5 weeks – 4 weeks format.
- It seems like graduates just tossed their caps in jubilation and kids set-off for a summer of fun, but July is not too early at NRF for the annual Back-to-School survey. Conducted by BIGinsight, the research found that back-to-school and back-to-college shoppers are expected to spend a combined $83.8 billion, up from $68.8 billion in 2011. But that doesn’t mean consumers have thrown their budgets out the window, as economic concerns still play a big role in how people shop. And if you love trendspotting as much as we do, you don’t want to miss this year’s top 10 trends in our recently-released infographic.
- Speaking of trendspotting, STORES magazine released it’s annual list of Top 100 retailers. Ranked by 2011 total retail sales in the U.S., this year’s list illustrated the growth in the grocery segment. Companies such as Safeway rejoined the top ten after a five year hiatus, and H.E.B., Whole Foods Markets, Aldi, and Wegman’s also enjoyed double-digit growth last year.
- A benefit to NRF members, the quarterly Retail Sales Outlook uses recent economic data to analyze the impact of key indicators on retail sales growth. Authored by NRF Chief Economic Jack Kleinhenz, the report takes the pulse on the many facets impacting the American economy, including credit card usage, employment, the housing market, and more.
- The historic ruling by the Supreme Court to uphold the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act had the industry buzzing for the second month in a row. Want to know how the ruling will impact your business? NRF has assembled all the resources businesses need to prepare for implementation and avoid penalization.
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- Retailers questioning $7 billion swipe fee settlement
- Consumers looking to cut corners with their 2012 back-to-school budgets
Top retail stories in NRF SmartBrief