The National Retail Federation, often called “the NRF,” announced today that it would be changing its name to “Not Really Factual.” This comes on the heels of the industry trade group’s release of another in a long line of predictions for double-digit sales increases over an upcoming holiday period.
“As many are aware,” said an NRF spokesperson, “we conduct what we claim are valid, representative surveys of U.S. consumers to determine what holiday spending in retail stores will be. For example, over the past year, we have predicted the following sales increases:
- Halloween  – up 20%
- Valentine’s Day – up 8.5%
- Easter – up 11%
- Mother’s Day – up 8.4%
- Father’s Day – up 10%
- Back to School – up 14%
And we have just released our call for this Halloween, predicting sales of candy and sh*t, oops, other Halloween-related items will be up another 10.4% over last season.”
However, the NRF opted to change its name today based on two factors.
“First, let’s be honest,” said Matthew Shay, NRF President and CEO. “Our consumer surveys are complete bullsh&t. We ask people to check off a million boxes on a form – it doesn’t mean they are really going to run out to the store and buy anything. Jesus, the economy sucks right now.”
“Second,” added NRF SVP Vicki Cantrell, “we never ever ever go back and see what actually happened. Were our forecasts even close? Who cares?”
As an example, Cantrell pointed to the recent Back-to-School season. Same-store sales for the more than 20 teen retailers and department stores tracked by Retail Metrics rose 5.9% in August, followed by a 3.9% increase in September.
“Hell,” said Cantrell, “you could double that and still not hit the 14% we predicted. Thank God no one except that pesky f&ck at Lairig Marketing ever checks up on this stuff."
Questioned about why, in its Halloween 2012 forecast, the NRF used its 2011 forecast number as what was actually sold, CEO Shay replied, “Um, booh! Ha ha!”
The NRF spokesperson listed other new names the organization considered, before making “Not Really Factual” its final choice. These included:
- Nutty Retail Forecasts
- National Revenue Fabricators
- Nonsense Rarely Followed
"Just like we always do.”