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NRF Show to Go On as Planned

The Big Show’s 2014 conference is going forward as planned and is scheduled for Jan. 12 to 15.

NEW YORK — Two days after it said that its Retail’s Big Show in 2015 might not be held at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center here, its home since 2003, the National Retail Federation on Thursday said the event is back on the convention center’s calendar.

This story first appeared in the August 16, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The Big Show’s 2014 conference is going forward as planned and is scheduled for Jan. 12 to 15. There will also be no changes to the 2015 dates of Jan. 11 to 14.

The Javits on Tuesday informed the NRF that it changed its schedule and was programming another event during the January 2015 period. Bill Thorne, NRF senior vice president for communications and public affairs, said the event replacing the Big Show was to be the boat show. The change came at the behest of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who decided that after Hurricane Sandy, the boat industry needed a shot in the arm, Thorne said.

NRF representatives on Wednesday met with Javits Center officials to state the organization’s desire to continue holding its convention at the mammoth venue.

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According to sources, the Javits is squeezing events such as the Big Show around the boat show. The NRF is reportedly able to keep its original dates because it agreed to one fewer day for dismantling the event and will pay overtime wages to crews to take it down in less time. While the conference lasts four days, the NRF needs time on the front and back ends of the conference for set-up and take down, and typically books the Javits Center for nine days.

“While we remain concerned about the unilateral and unprecedented decision by Gov. Cuomo to move the New York Boat Show to mid-January starting in 2015, we are grateful for the accommodation by the Javits Center,” Thorne said. “NRF hopes that they can equally accommodate other important trade shows, meetings and events impacted by the Governor’s actions.”

Thorne pointed out that the Big Show had a record 27,600 attendees in 2013. According to NYC & Company, New York City’s official marketing and partnership organization, the NRF’s convention contributes more than $20 million to the economy.