News | April 22, 2009

NRF President And CEO Tracy Mullin Announces Retirement

Tracy Mullin, who has worked for the National Retail Federation for more than 30 years, today announced she will be retiring from the organization in late 2009. Mullin has served as President and Chief Executive Officer of NRF since 1993 when she was elected by a vote of the Board of Directors.

While Mullin announced her plans to retire to NRF's leadership last year, the public announcement comes as NRF's executive committee agreed to a merger between NRF and the Retail Industry Leaders Association.

In a letter sent to NRF members today, Mullin outlined that the decision to retire was difficult but comes at a good time. "I will never lose my love of retailing, and it's bittersweet to move on," she wrote. "After assisting NRF through this transition period, I look forward to tackling some new projects and embarking on new adventures."

In her letter, Mullin also outlined how NRF members and partners would experience the transition, writing: "NRF would not be where it is today without our extraordinary membership base. Please be assured that our entire staff, whom many of you have come to know well and trust, will be working diligently to ensure that this transition is smooth. Honestly, it is my hope that most of you will be unfazed by the merger—except that those of you with membership in both associations will not be paying two sets of dues! I'm sure I speak for both the NRF and RILA staffs when I say that we value your commitment to our organizations, will do everything we can to make this new partnership valuable to you, and look forward to having you as our ally in this next step."

Mullin has led the organization through a period of great change and impressive growth. Highlights of her tenure include:

  • In 1993, moved NRF headquarters from New York City, where it had been based since 1911, to Washington, D.C., establishing a new mission and building an entirely new staff
  • Repositioned the organization from a department store group to one that today represents all retail formats and sectors in the U.S. and abroad including department, specialty, discount, mass merchandise, independent, grocery and pharmacy stores, as well as e-commerce, catalogues and chain restaurants
  • Tripled the annual budget from $12 million to $35 million
  • Expanded NRF internationally, increasing non-U.S. membership and producing conferences, services and events outside U.S. borders
  • Acquired several independent associations that are today integrated into NRF, including Menswear Retailers of America; Shop.org, NRF's digital division; Association for Retail Technology Standards (ARTS), NRF's technology standards group; National Council of Chain Restaurants, providing legislative and food safety expertise to the restaurant community; and Retail Advertising and Marketing Association (RAMA), serving the retail marketing and advertising community
  • Restructured and grew NRF's Foundation, moving from a research focus to a foundation that now provides training, certification and e-learning in the U.S. and abroad
  • Enhanced NRF's member services offerings to better recruit and retain members. NRF now boasts a 97 percent membership retention record.

Mullin had held a series of positions of increasing responsibility at NRF before her election as CEO. Prior to NRF, Mullin served as senior legislative advisor to the Minority Leader of the U.S. Senate.

The National Retail Federation is the world's largest retail trade association, with membership that comprises all retail formats and channels of distribution including department, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, independent stores, chain restaurants, drug stores and grocery stores as well as the industry's key trading partners of retail goods and services. NRF represents an industry with more than 1.6 million U.S. retail establishments, more than 24 million employees - about one in five American workers - and 2008 sales of $4.6 trillion. As the industry umbrella group, NRF also represents more than 100 state, national and international retail associations. www.nrf.com.

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