NEW YORK — The National Retail Federation said attendance at the association's 99th Annual Convention and Expo here this month totaled 18,500, with 27% more retailers in attendance this year over last year.
Booth exhibitors numbered about 475 this year. Exact figures for last year's booth numbers were not immediately available.
Some analysts said the attendance at the show was a good sign for retail overall.
“Despite the recent difficult environment, we believe retailers brought a cautiously optimistic outlook for 2010 to the NRF's Big Show,” said Deborah Weinsig, an analyst for Citigroup, New York, in a report.
“In addition, we expect retailers to increase their spending on retail technology with a quick payback. Retailers continue to focus on tech. That will enable them to decrease inventory levels and drive full-priced selling.”
Separately, NRF also said Terry J. Lundgren, chairman, president and chief executive officer of Macy's, was named chairman of the association's board of directors, succeeding Myron E. Ullman, III, chairman and CEO, J.C. Penney Co.
Also, Stephen I. Sadove, chairman and CEO, Saks Inc., was elected to serve as first vice chairman of NRF's board of directors. Sadove succeeds Phillip L. Francis, executive chairman, PetSmart Inc.