NEW YORK — Bernard F. Brennan, chairman of Montgomery Ward & Co., will take the reins for a two-year term as chairman of the National Retail Federation at the trade group’s annual convention, Jan. 16-19, at the New York Hilton and Sheraton New York hotels here.

Brennan succeeds Joseph E. Antonini, chairman and chief executive officer of Kmart Corp., who will be honored with the group’s Gold Medal award at a luncheon on Jan. 19.

“New Vision, New Spirit” is the theme of this year’s convention and technology expo, which will showcase new technology and services for retailers from more than 200 exhibitors.

Fifty business sessions are on tap, covering management and merchandising issues affecting all types of retailers, from giant discounters to small boutiques. Such topics as TV home shopping, new tax laws and selling formats, like entertainment retailing, will be covered in super sessions.

Smaller seminars will examine visual merchandising, advertising strategies, inventory management, theft reduction, the Wall Street view on retailing and interactive retailing, among other topics.