WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation and the Retail Industry Leaders Association have agreed to end discussions of a merger, a little more than two months after the trade groups announced their respective executive committees had unanimously agreed to a partnership in principle.
Neither NRF, which represents retailers of multiple sizes and disciplines, nor RILA — comprised mainly of big-box store operators — provided reasons that the merger failed. In a joint statement, the boards of the groups said “NRF and RILA will devote all resources to continuing the work they are each doing to address the serious issues that America’s consumers and retailers are facing in today’s economic environment.”
The combined group was to have operated joint trade shows and integrated staff and lobbying forces.
“There is no plan for the two groups to merge at this time — or for the foreseeable future,” Tracy Mullin, president and chief executive officer of NRF, said in a letter to members published Thursday. Mullin, who was to have retired as part of the merger, added that she would stay on as CEO.
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