Retail's BIG Show

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Retail's BIG Show
Retail's BIG Show logo.jpg
Status Active
Genre Retail
Venue New York, New York
Location(s) Jacob K. Javits Convention Center
Country USA
Inaugurated January 1911
Most recent January 11-14, 2015
Next event January 17-20, 2016
Attendance 27,600
Organized by National Retail Federation

Retail’s BIG Show, or the NRF Annual Convention & EXPO, is the flagship industry event of the National Retail Federation (NRF). Retail’s BIG Show is an annual event held over four days in New York City.

It is the world's leading annual retail event, bringing together 27,000 retail professionals and vendors from more than 80 countries for educational and networking opportunities. The convention includes 125 education sessions, nearly 300 speakers, and more than 500 exhibitors.[1]

Retail’s BIG Show has frequently been ranked as one of the Top 200 events in North America, as well as one of the 50 fastest-growing trade events.[2]

The next BIG Show will be held from January 17 – 20, 2016.[3]


The National Retail Federation (NRF) is the world's largest retail trade association, with members including department store, specialty, discount, catalog, Internet, and independent retailers, chain restaurants, and grocery stores. It is also an umbrella group that represents more than 100 associations of state, national and international retailers.

NRF began in 1911 as the National Retail Dry Goods Association (NRDGA). This was also the year of its first annual meeting. In 1958, NRDGA was renamed National Retail Merchants Association. In 1990, the association and the American Retail Federation merged to form the National Retail Federation. During all the years, an annual convention was held for members.[4]

Today, Retail’s BIG Show continues to be an annual event held over four days beginning in the second week of January, at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in New York City.

The EXPO floor is open on Monday and Tuesday of the Convention, and hosts more than 490 exhibiting companies. The EXPO features special sessions produced by the NRF covering a wide range of topics such as sustainability, visual merchandising and the global economy. Exhibitors also offer sessions titled Exhibitor BIG Ideas.[5]

Matt Shay, President and CEO of National Retail Federation

Latest Conventions[edit]


The 102nd annual BIG Show was held from January 13–16, 2013. Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations from 1997 to 2006, delivered the keynote address.[6] In his address, Annan pointed out that the economy has a direct impact on business. "An economy cannot move forward without the three pillars of peace and stability; development; and the rule of law and human rights." He continued, "As business men and women you do have influence, to create jobs as well as talk to political leaders."

Activity on the EXPO floor


For the 101st annual Retail's BIG Show, Former President Bill Clinton delivered the Keynote address.[7] In his address, Clinton stated: "We are slowly recovering from the economic crisis. Last year, the retail industry grew by almost 5 percent, compared to the overall U.S. economy, which grew by only 2 percent. That’s good news for all of you. As you know, retail makes up almost 20 percent of our GDP, and supports about 25 percent of our jobs."


Trade Show News Network recently announced Retail’s BIG Show 2012 ranked #150 on their coveted Top 250 Trade Show list, up from #151 in 2011. This list represents the top trade events held each year within the United States and is ranked by net square footage.[8]

Retail’s BIG Show 2013 is a finalist for Best Association Show and Best Use of Content/Education on the Show Floor.[9]

Attendees at the 2013 BIG Show


Further reading[edit]


  1. ^ The BIG numbers behind Retail's BIG Show NRF blog, retrieved Jan 30, 2013
  2. ^ Retail's BIG Show ranks No. 150 on top trade show list Smart Brief, retrieved April 25, 2013
  3. ^ [1]
  4. ^ "NRF Turns 100: A century at the heart of retail’s evolution." Retail Timeline sidebar. STORES magazine, February 2011, pages 26, 29, 30.
  5. ^ About the BIG Show
  6. ^ Retail’s Big Picture Presented by Kofi Annan Independent Retailer, retrieved Jan 15, 2013
  7. ^ A Look Back at Retail’s BIG Show First Insight, retrieved Jan 31 2012
  8. ^ Retail's BIG Show ranks No. 150 on top trade show list Smart Brief, retrieved April 25, 2013
  9. ^ EXCITE Awards EXPO Next, retrieved May 19, 2013