At long last…the two political conventions are over. While the two party conventions were vastly different in style, substance, tone and rhetoric – the one, unifying voice heard in the halls at both conventions – was the voice of retail.
At the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina, Costco Wholesale Corp. co-founder and former CEO Jim Sinegal touted the economic policies of President Obama during a prime time address. Sinegal told the party faithful that America needs a president who takes the long view on the economy. Sinegal’s speech was noteworthy in that it was the biggest speech ever given by a large-cap publicly-traded traded company in history.
A week earlier in Florida, Tom Stemberg, co-founder of Staples Inc., spoke before the Republican Convention in support of Mitt Romney. Stemberg praised Romney’s personal and professional dedication to building and repairing American companies, touted his leadership at the private equity firm Bain Capital, and reprimanded the Obama Administration for the nation’s high unemployment rate.
While these two retailers have vastly different political perspectives, the one thing that unites them is their shared belief in the valuable role retail plays in powering our economy and its ability to create good-paying jobs and careers. The National Retail Federation agrees wholeheartedly with that view as it has worked to amplify the retail industry’s voice in the political system through its Retail Means Jobs campaign.