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National Retail Federation to name Matt Shay as new president

Matt Shay will become president of the National Retail Federation, a trade group.
Matt Shay will become president of the National Retail Federation, a trade group. (Courtesy Of National Retail Foundation(nrf) - Courtesy Of National Retail Foundation(nrf))
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By Ylan Q. Mui
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, March 18, 2010

The National Retail Federation announced Wednesday that it plans to name a veteran of the International Franchise Association as president of the influential retail trade group, headquartered in Washington.

Matt Shay will take over as president and chief executive of the NRF on May 10, and the organization's board of directors will formally elect him on June 22. Shay had worked at the IFA since 1993, heading its government relations office and serving as chief counsel before becoming president in 2004.

Shay said his goal is to ensure that the NRF has "a footprint on the advocacy side consistent with the footprint on the economic side." The NRF's membership is composed of about 2,500 retailers, including mom-and-pop shops, big-box stores and online outlets. Retail sales totaled $4.1 trillion last year, and the industry employed more than 24 million workers, the organization said.

Health care and immigration are among the top issues facing retailers, Shay said. But he said none of them can be addressed without first tackling the rough economy and the high unemployment rate.

Shay will replace NRF chief executive Tracy Mullin, who is retiring after 17 years in that post. Mullin announced her retirement last spring amid plans for the NRF to merge with another trade group, the Retail Industry Leaders Association. But the union was called off over the summer after an initial review.

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