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The National Retail Federation (NRF) and the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) have called off the merger that they originally announced two months ago.

"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 groups said in a joint statement.

In a letter to NRF’s members, CEO Tracy Mullin wrote that “NRF will continue to serve as the association that represents the entire retail industry—from the largest retailers in the world to the smallest, and of course all of the thousands of companies in between.” While no specific reason for the decision was disclosed, industry observers suggest that RILA’s constituency of major retail brands conflicted with NRF’s broader constituency.

Mullin also noted that her planned retirement, originally scheduled for December, is now on hold.
KC's View:
It seems to me that the perceived conflict of interest between the two constituencies is a completely logical reason to abandon the merger. It is hard for any single organization to represent both a single store independent and the biggest chains – there are too many competing interests.

As we say in so many cases here on MNB, there is a difference between effectiveness and efficiency. One should never choose the latter and in doing so, sacrifice the former.