I'm still pounding the pavement over here in The Netherlands (with very, very, very limited e-mail access. Quite difficult to keep up on things by the way) but there's some big news on the retail front today. NRF and RILA have agreed to merge. Here's the release:
WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) today announced that the executive committees of both associations have unanimously agreed in principle to a merger that will create a single trade association representing retail interests in the nation’s capital.
The new organization will provide enhanced value to both RILA and NRF’s members and help to ensure that the retail industry speaks with a one voice to advance the industry and its more than 15 million workers.
“This is an historic time for our industry. The challenges and opportunities before our members are unprecedented. Now is the right time to bring these associations together,” said RILA Chairman, Robert A. Niblock, Chairman & Chief Executive Officer of Lowe's Companies, Inc. and NRF Chairman Myron E. (Mike) Ullman, III, Chairman and CEO of J.C. Penney Company, Inc. in a joint statement.
According to Niblock and Ullman, in addition to enhancing member value, the new (and as yet unnamed) association will accrue substantial benefits to all members collectively, small and large, including:
A unified and stronger voice on policy, communications, and public affairs issues in Washington, DC
A host of exciting member events and conferences open to the combined membership of NRF and RILA and, including NRF’s “Big Show” and RILA’s annual Logistics Conference scheduled for January and February, 2010;
Focused educational offerings and operational services for independent retailers
A single point of integration and dialogue with state retail associations and business groups in state capitals across the United States; and
A fully-integrated staff.
Completion of the merger requires that both NRF and RILA submit to a thorough due diligence process. The details of the merger are being developed by representatives from RILA and NRF. Both associations’ boards of directors must recommend the merger, and both memberships must approve it.
Both RILA and NRF expect the process to be completed by this summer.
I wonder what this means for both association's respective LP conferences as well as their LP executive staffers Joe LaRocca (who recently stepped into a new role. I'd link to the story here but it seems as though we are still having some search engine issues.), Paul Jones and Rhett Asher. From a cost standpoint, I would think there would be some consolidation but there's obviously some significant value in keeping these three LP powerhouse names on board.