'Retail Means Jobs' campaign to give voice to retail's priorities
With the 2012 election season around the corner, the National Retail Federation launched a first-of-its-kind major year-long advocacy campaign to advance a Jobs, Innovation, and Consumer Value Agenda on behalf of America's retail industry and the $2.48 trillion in GDP and 41.6 million American jobs it supports.
A centerpiece of the campaign – which will include lobbying, grassroots, advertising, social media, earned media and more – is www.RetailMeansJobs.com, an interactive web site and action center designed to encourage engagement on behalf of the retail community's agenda. The web site houses new research conducted for NRF by PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (PwC), which shows that retail directly and indirectly supported nearly one in four U.S. jobs and provided 18 percent of GDP in 2009.
“The retail industry supports a quarter of our nation's jobs and will continue to be at the forefront of our economic recovery,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “This campaign aims to ensure that we do everything possible as a nation to support the vitality of the retail sector, in order to create jobs and continue to foster U.S. innovation and competitiveness.”
The campaign, unprecedented in the 100-year history of NRF, will be marked by significant investments in grassroots, social media and communications, including:
• Grassroots activation of retail businesses, employees and consumers in hundreds of communities and congressional districts across the country, including an open letter to the retail industry to urge participation
• Outreach to Congress to highlight the value of retail to the U.S. economy and jobs
• Advertising in multiple media including print, radio and online
• A viral campaign to showcase the “Faces of Retail” by engaging consumers and employees in a video contest to be launched in 2012
• The release of new research that measures retail's unique role as the nation's most significant driver of jobs, innovation and consumer value
• A unique social media campaign including a viral video, with heavy emphasis on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn
• An international push to highlight the importance of retail to the global economy
“With direct daily contact with U.S. consumers in every congressional district around the country, retailers have an untapped advocacy potential larger than any industry in the nation and we want to unleash that potential state by state,” said Shay.
NRF's Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda
The campaign was launched in order to advance a comprehensive policy agenda with specific priorities to support the creation of new jobs, encourage continued innovations that will drive the growth of commerce, and fight against higher costs for consumers.
At the top of the retail industry's Jobs, Innovation and Consumer Value Agenda are corporate tax reform,passage of pending Free Trade Agreements, steps to make it easier for foreign visitors to obtain visas so they can travel to the United States and shop in U.S. stores, leveling the playing field for sales tax collection by passing the Main Street Fairness Act, modernizing aging transportation infrastructure that slows down the retail supply chain and drives up costs, repeal or delay of a health care employer mandate that would force job cuts, and protecting consumer privacy while promoting innovations like mobile marketing. Earlier this month, NRF asked the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction “supercommittee” to consider three of those issues – corporate tax reform, the Main Street Fairness Act and the employer mandate – among its options.