NEW YORK — Stung by a poor Christmas and facing uncertain business in 1995, retailers searching for solutions are expected to attend the National Retail Federation convention in record numbers here Sunday through Wednesday.
It’s the industry’s biggest forum for exchanging ideas and business cards, where retailers can examine the latest in store technology and listen to presentations on other retailer’s survival tactics.
This year’s convention, the NRF’s 84th, is optimistically pegged, “Buying into the Future.”
“I think we have one of strongest programs we’ve ever had, and it looks like the industry recognizes that,” boasted NRF president Tracy Mullin. She said this year’s turnout will exceed last year’s, when 15,000 retailers registered.
Many retailers have already projected that 1995 could be another year of incessant price cutting, consolidation and difficulty selling apparel, and that store executives will be scrambling for solutions.
Among the highlights of the convention, being staged at the Sheraton New York and New York Hilton Hotels, Allen Questrom, chairman of Federated Department Stores and Bob Norse, chairman of the Bombay Co., will set the tone with a “super session” on the economic outlook, Monday in the Hilton, 8:45 a.m.
Monday afternoon, three top executives — Jerome Chazen of Liz Claiborne, Terry Lundgren of Federated Merchandising and Bud Konheim of Nicole Miller — will discuss retail consolidation.
On Tuesday morning, a key session on “reengineering retail growth” is scheduled with Philip Miller of Saks Fifth Avenue, Stanton Bluestone of Carson Pirie & Scott, developer Melvin Simon and Isaac Lagnado, consultant.
Other hot topics to be covered are the Republican-dominated Congress, interactive marketing and global expansion, Mullin said, adding that retailers appear have become much cooler to interactive sales and warmer to expanding overseas.