Wal-Mart Stores Inc. president and chief executive officer Doug McMillon will receive the National Retail Federation’s “Visionary” award at the NRF Foundation Gala on Jan. 14 in New York.

NRF’s visionary award recognizes a leader with a long record of spearheading change in the retail industry.

“We strive to be a purpose-driven company and we work to make every day easier for busy families,” said McMillon. “This is an exciting time to be in retail as customers are more connected than ever. We’re having fun thinking of new and innovative ways to serve them and to save them not only money, but time.”

“From risk-taking acquisitions like Jet.com to investing in the future of the industry by prioritizing workforce solutions and spearheading initiatives that empower businesses to be a force for good, Doug McMillon’s leadership has kept Wal-Mart at the forefront of innovation,” said NRF president and ceo Matthew Shay. “Doug McMillon is a homegrown talent at Wal-Mart who has spent his entire career rotating through different roles to better understand the business.”

McMillon, who considers himself a merchant at heart, started at Wal-Mart in 1984 by working as an hourly summer associate in a Wal-Mart distribution center. In 1990, while pursuing his MBA, he rejoined the company as an assistant manager in a Tulsa, Okla., store before moving to merchandising. He rose in senior leadership roles in all of Wal-Mart’s business segments. From 2006 to 2009, he served as president and ceo of Sam’s Club. From February 2009 to February 2014, he was president and ceo of Wal-Mart International. He became president and ceo of the entire company in February 2014.

The NRF Foundation Gala supports the next generation of talent by raising money for scholarships.

NRF, in conjunction with an annual survey conducted by Prosper Insights & Analytics, said consumers will spend $967.13 during the holiday season, which would be up 3.4 percent from the $935.58 they said they would spend when surveyed at the same time last year.

According to the NRF, the holiday spending will break down as follows: gifts, at $608.06; items such as food, decorations, flowers and greeting cards, at $218.08; and other non-gift items consumers buy for themselves and their families, at $140.99.

For the first time in the survey’s history, online is the most popular shopping destination this year, cited by 59 percent of consumers. The survey also found that 57 percent will shop at a department store, 54 percent at a discount store, 46 percent at a grocery store/supermarket and 35 percent at clothing or accessories store. The survey found 27 percent plan to visit an electronics store, 25 percent a small or local business, and 18 percent will go to a crafts or fabrics store.

“With employment and incomes increasing, consumers are more confident this year and that is reflected in their buying plans for the holidays,” Shay said. “Retailers have been stocking up in expectation of this, and all signs are that this will be a busy holiday season.

The consumer survey comes on top of NRF’s annual holiday spending forecast, which takes into account a variety of economic factors and projects that holiday retail sales in November and December this year will be up between 3.6 percent and 4 percent for a total between $678.8 billion and $682 billion.

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