What is retail? Who better to tell us than those committed to the industry and making a livelihood from it. With sponsorship from the NRF, a national video contest known as, “This is Retail,” was launched to learn more about the role of retail in the U.S. Kicking off the contest, NRF president and CEO, Matthew Shay, announced, “We’re on a hunt to find the best retail stories in America, from marketing geniuses to customer service superstars, to small business owners who are the fabric of every local community.”
Between March 5 and 16, retail employees and business owners began submitting two-minute videos sharing their retail stories, and highlighting anything from the positive impact they’ve had on shoppers, to how an initiative within the business has helped to generate new jobs and boost the economy. After careful review, the NRF announced on April 2 the 20 finalists chosen for a final round of judging. While this first lot of finalists were determined by prominent retail executives at NRF member companies, the final round of voting was issued to the public, and began April 3.
Contest finalists ranged from small business owners to vice presidents at national retail chains, and from wine shops to sporting goods retailers. The selection process continued through April, as the 20 finalists went head-to-head in a bracket style tournament, narrowed down each week from 20 to 10 to five, and then the top three. During NRF’s Washington Leadership Conference this month, the third place winner of $10,000, second place winner of $15,000, and first place winner of $25,000 will be announced. “The incredible stories we heard from small business owners and employees through this contest serve as a reminder that retail is at the heart of every community,” explains Shay. “While each of these finalists has their own story, they collectively demonstrate the opportunities in and power of retail, which supports 42 million U.S. jobs.”