NRF Reimagines Its Big Show — Again
A few days after ending the first phase of its 2021 Big Show, the National Retail Federation plans some changes for the second phase of the event.
NRF says it will scrap plans to hold an in-person and live Big Show Chapter 2 in June in New York City.
“We have recently learned that the Javits Center, which is being used as a venue for vaccine distribution for New York residents, will most likely be unavailable during the first week of June, which is when we had planned to hold the Second Chapter of our annual NRF Big Show," said President and CEO Matthew Shay. "Vaccinations and the overall state of our nation’s response to the pandemic were always a primary consideration for an in-person gathering this year. And while we were optimistic about the prospects of a quick timeline for vaccine distribution, the reality is that it is taking longer than we had all hoped and experts believe the process could extend through the summer."
NRF says Chapter 1 of Big Show, held virtually this month, was successful and "we are preparing to return online in June to provide even more expansive content, networking, entertainment and expert insights for registrants. In the weeks ahead, we will be unveiling a new and exciting offering that only NRF can provide for the industry — as we’ve done for more than 100 years — serving as a prelude for when we return to the newly expanded Javits Center in Jan. 2022 with the largest retail trade show in the world.”
Last week NRF said holiday sales rose an unexpectedly high 8.3% to $789.4 billion over the November-December period.
The increase exceeded the National Retail Federation’s holiday forecast despite the economic challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. The numbers include online and other non-stores sales, which were up 23.9% at $209 billion.
“Despite unprecedented challenges, consumers and retailers demonstrated incredible resilience this holiday season,” Shay said. “Faced with rising transmission of the virus, state restrictions on retailers and heightened political and economic uncertainty, consumers chose to spend on gifts that lifted the spirits of their families and friends and provided a sense of normalcy given the challenging year. We believe President-elect Biden’s stimulus proposal, with direct payments to families and individuals, further aid for small businesses and tools to keep businesses open, will keep the economy growing.”
Grocery and beverage store sales were up 9.6%. Health and personal care store sales were up 5.4%. Other sector sales were:
- Building materials and garden supply stores, up 19%
- Sporting goods stores, up 15.2%
- Grocery and beverage stores, up 9.6%
- General merchandise stores, down 0.1%
Retail sales during December were down 1.6% seasonally adjusted from November but were up 8.6% unadjusted year-over-year. That built on a year-over-year gain of 8% in November despite November’s month-over-month decline of 0.9% from October. As of December, the three-month moving average was up 8.9% over the same period in 2019.
NRF’s numbers are based on data from the U.S. Census Bureau, which said that overall December sales — including auto dealers, gas stations and restaurants — were down 0.7% seasonally adjusted from November but up 2.9% unadjusted year-over-year.