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NRF names Amazon's Jeff Bezos recipient of its Gold Award; gives annual awards to Amazon, Kohl's, and others

Washington  -- The National Retail Federation has selected the founder and ceo of online retail giant Amazon, Jeff Bezos, as the recipient of its Gold Medal Award, and has also recognized Amazon, Crocs, Kohl's, and lululemon with its annual awards for retailers.

The award winners are chosen each year by select members of the NRF board who comprise its award committee. And each winning company's top ranking executive comes to accept the award during the Annual Retail Industry Luncheon at NRF's Annual Convention and Expo, Retail's BIG Show, on January 15, 2013. The show will be held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, January 13-16. Guest speakers at the event's special luncheon will be Donna Karan, chief designer, Donna Karan New York, and founder, Urban Zen.

"In this highly competitive industry, it's important for retailers to continue to evolve with their customers' expectations, while also thinking outside the box when it comes to innovation and consumer value," said Matthew Shay, NRF president and ceo. "We know we don't have to look far to find our award winners each year as retailers are some of the most ground-breaking companies in the world, setting examples for other industries in customer service and experience, innovation and leadership. We applaud our winners this year and are thrilled to honor them in front of their peers."

NRF reserves is Gold Medal award for "an individual who has served the industry with distinction and achieved a national reputation for excellence. The recipient has also displayed creative genius and inspirational leadership and has won the respect of fellow merchants for devotion to the retail craft." NRF chose Bezos this year because under his leadership, "Amazon continues to re-invent both itself and entire industries."

Crocs Inc. was named Retail Innovator of the Year, an award received by president and ceo John McCarvel, for "successfully distinguishing himself as a retail pioneer through the use of new, innovative or imaginative techniques, formats or service. Furthermore, this individual has demonstrated an ability to sustain and build this concept in the face of challenges."

The International Retailer of the Year award will be bestowed on lululemon athletica ceo Christine Day, "an individual who has achieved international recognition for excellence in their native country and internationally."

Kohl's Corp. will nab the Silver Plaque, with senior evp of logistics, Ken Bonning, receiving the award. This honor is presented each year "to a senior executive with an NRF member company or retail-related organization who has achieved prominence in his or her individual field and, who has shown outstanding leadership in his or her NRF council or Committee work, making a major contribution to the retail industry and/or to NRF."

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