The National Retail Federation (NRF) kicked off Retail Jobs Week, a multi-faceted effort to push back against long-held misperceptions about working in the retail industry. Through this initiative, NRF aims to continue educating Washington lawmakers about the value retail jobs deliver for workers and the economy, according to the federation.

"Stubborn misperceptions have existed about retail and the jobs our industry provides,” said Matthew Shay, NRF president and CEO. “Once again, we are asking that elected officials join us and stand up for the millions of people who make this industry great, are proud of their work and provide value to our daily lives.”

Lingering false stereotypes about retail wages and skills undermine the value of retail employment in the minds of lawmakers in Washington. Through research, facts and real-life stories, NRF will use Retail Jobs Week to promote the power of retail employment to Washington decision-makers.

“Retail jobs equip American workers with the valuable skills vital for success in today’s service economy,” said Shay. “Retail offers American workers opportunities other industries simply do not, like the flexibility to supplement family income while the kids are at school, or to pursue a degree. Retail jobs are good jobs and they deserve bipartisan support. There is a perception gap in Washington by those who choose to ignore proof to the contrary and NRF wants to close it.”

Retail, the largest private sector employer in this country, supports 42 million jobs and adds $2.6 trillion to the national economy, according to Shay. Over the last decade, retail has played a critical role in generating much-needed job growth in this country.

According to Shay, the five-day initiative will include the release of original research, new content showcasing retailers from every state in the country, social engagement of the retail community and a focused discussion highlighting the benefits of retail jobs.

“The hard work, passion, creativity and dedication displayed by retail workers are unmatched in any economic sector,” said Stephen Sadove, chairman of NRF and former chairman and CEO of Saks Fifth Avenue. “Lawmakers in Washington know the truth about the value of working in retail and retail’s value to our country, and need to enact policies that support these men and women while creating additional opportunities for sustained growth in this dynamic industry.” 

For a list of Retail Jobs Week events, visit