WASHINGTON — The National Retail Federation, which is conducting the first chapter of its 2021 Retail’s Big Show conference online, announced on Tuesday that the planned in-person chapter of the show, scheduled for June, will also be held virtually.
“We have recently learned that the Javits Center, which is being used as a venue for vaccine distribution for New York residents, will most likely be unavailable during the first week of June, which is when we had planned to hold the Second Chapter of our annual NRF Big Show,” NRF president and chief executive officer Matthew Shay said in a statement. “The Javits is once again playing a critical role during this pandemic, first serving as a field hospital for COVID-19 patients and now a place to inoculate citizens against this deadly disease. We are all aligned that the first priority in our country today is to get the vaccine to as many people as safely and quickly as possible, and the Javits will help make that a reality.
“Vaccinations and the overall state of our nation’s response to the pandemic were always a primary consideration for an in-person gathering this year. And while we were optimistic about the prospects of a quick timeline for vaccine distribution, the reality is that it is taking longer than we had all hoped and experts believe the process could extend through the summer.
“After successfully launching the popular and virtual Chapter 1 of Big Show this month, we are preparing to return online in June to provide even more expansive content, networking, entertainment and expert insights for registrants. In the weeks ahead, we will be unveiling a new and exciting offering that only NRF can provide for the industry — as we’ve done for more than 100 years — serving as a prelude for when we return to the newly expanded Javits Center in January 2022 with the largest retail trade show in the world.”