The National Retail Federation has rescheduled its annual exposition and conference at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City to June 6 to 8, 2021.
The NRF also said Thursday that it will hold a six-day virtual event, Jan. 12 to 14, Jan. 19 and 21 and 22, 2021. Both events will be themed “Forward Together.”
Typically, the event, considered the largest gathering of retailers in the world, is held in January at the Javits Center.
“The health and safety of our team, industry partners and global attendees is our number-one priority. Given the understandable concerns among all of our stakeholders regarding the availability and effectiveness of treatments or a vaccine for the coronavirus, we have concluded it is not feasible to maintain our original schedule of an in-person January 2021 trade show, and have decided to reimagine the NRF 2021 annual meeting and convention,” said NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay.
He said the NRF received unanimous support from its major exhibitors, sponsors and partners regarding the decision to move the “in-person” exposition and conference to June 2021. The June exposition and conference will include self-guided store tours, expo tours, membership and red carpet lounges, workshops and social events both on and off the show floor in New York City.
The January virtual event will be entirely online, and feature “robust content combined with a digital exposition” including pre-recorded sessions with speakers, and a live component where speakers will engage with a facilitator to answer questions from participants.
“For over 100 years, NRF’s annual convention has been the biggest, best and most impactful event that convenes industry leaders to exchange visionary ideas, build partnerships and experience new technologies. In 2021, we are able to double down on our efforts to explore an exciting future for retail with two unique events,” Shay said. “This is the time for creative and practical ideas that will shape retail’s future, and these are the events that will showcase those ideas with our visionary and innovative retail leaders and industry partners as we chart the path forward together.”