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NRF merging with Retail Industry Leaders Association

Washington -- The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today announced their plans to merge into a single trade association representing retail interests in the nation’s capital.

The two entities released a statement today that announced their executive committees unanimous agreement in principle to the alignment.

The new organization, which has not yet been named, will provide “added value to both RILA and NRF members and help to ensure that the retail industry speaks with a one voice to advance the industry and its more than 15 million workers,” they said.

“This is an historic time for our industry. The challenges and opportunities before our members are unprecedented. Now is the right time to bring these associations together,” RILA chairman Robert Niblock, who is also chairman and ceo of Lowe's Companies Inc., and NRF chairman Mike Ullman, who is also chairman and ceo of JCPenney Company, said in a joint statement.

They added that the new association “will accrue substantial benefits to all members collectively, small and large,” such as:

  • a unified and stronger voice on policy, communications, and public affairs issues in Washington D.C.;

  • new member events and conferences open to the combined membership of NRF and RILA;

  • focused educational offerings and operational services for independent retailers;

  • a single point of integration and dialogue with state retail associations and business groups in state capitals across the United States;

  • and a fully-integrated staff.

Completion of the merger requires that both NRF and RILA submit to a thorough due diligence process. The merger’s details are being developed by RILA and NRF representatives. Both associations’ boards of directors must recommend the merger, and both memberships must approve it.

Both entities expect the finalization of the merger to be completed by this summer. 

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