RILA and NRF to merge

Retail groups link efforts, form single trade association


WASHINGTON , April 21 /PRNewswire/ -- 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 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:

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.

About RILA

The Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) promotes consumer choice and economic freedom through public policy and industry operational excellence. RILA members include the largest and most successful companies in the retail industry. RILA provides its members with unique educational forums, effective public policy advocacy, and advancement of the retail industry.

About NRF

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's mission is to advance and protect the interests of the retail industry and to help retailers achieve excellence in all areas of their business.