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NRF Invests Millions in New Research Arm

The National Retail Federation (NRF) announced that it’s pouring millions of dollars into a new department that will focus on industry research.

Dubbed the Retail Research and Analysis Center, the new division will home in on issues that affect the industry—such as economic and consumer spending data and trends as well as legislative and regulatory policies—while bringing together all existing research within the industry and expanding the scope of future studies.

The goal, according to NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay, is to arm its members with the tools and facts required to operate in today’s dynamic marketplace.

Ellen Davis, executive director of the NRF Foundation, will serve as senior vice president of research and strategic initiatives.

“Studies, surveys, white papers and critical analysis by industry leaders help us frame policy debates, identify trends and change perceptions about retail’s evolution,” she said in a statement. “As the nation’s largest private-sector employer and an industry that contributes $2.6 trillion 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.”

The NRF is now seeking a vice president of research and strategic initiatives, who will report to Davis. Current staff members and consultant resources are being utilized and additional dedicated staffing is anticipated.

Shay added, “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.”