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Chicago, Illinois

Retail Across America: Illinois

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National brands like Ace Hardware and Trunk Club call Illinois home, alongside small retail businesses like Kozy’s Cyclery, Potash Markets and ABT Electronics whose local roots run deep. Retail is a critical component to the Illinois economy and a backbone for community relationships. This mixture of national retailers and small businesses support one in five jobs in the state. In partnership with the Illinois Retail Merchants Association, hear some of the inspiring stories of retail careers, community and innovation in Illinois.

Careers Spotlight: Ace Hardware

Jeremy Melnick of Gordon’s Ace Hardware never thought he’d take over the family business. But after a career in finance, Melnick came back to retail with ambition in mind. His plans for the Gordon’s franchise include doubling the number of Chicago-based stores and continuing to grow a business that his father and children can be proud of and a part of.

Keepin’ it in the family: Retail in Illinois

The Retail Across America/Illinois crew explores the history and impact of family retail businesses in Chicago, including Kozy’s Cyclery; neighborhood grocer Potash Markets; and destination retailer ABT Electronics, a company that employs more than 1,300 area residents.

Innovation Spotlight: Trunk Club

VP of Sales Michael Barkin, along with a few of his fashionable stylists, share a behind-the-scenes look at Trunk Club’s unique and compelling business model and company culture. The Chicago-based startup, acquired by Nordstrom in 2014, is rethinking the way guys shop with personalized recommendations and distinctive experiences.

Jordan Holley

Living the dream in Illinois

Recent Mississippi State University graduate Jordan Holley went behind the scenes with NRF’s Retail Across America road trip to see how retailers in Chicago, Springfield and other towns across Illinois are living their own American dream and bringing opportunities to their communities. Check out Jordan's recap.

Retail Across America
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We set out on a road trip to find the most powerful retail stories across the United States, showing how retailers large and small are creating jobs, driving innovation and giving back to the communities they serve. This is Retail Across America.

This is Retail

NRF's award-winning This is Retail campaign brings together industry advocates from established and emerging retail brands to share their career, community or innovation stories in the public arena – challenging many of the misperceptions that exist about the retail industry and its employees.

Retail's Impact
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Find out how the retail industry impacts jobs, income and GDP in your state. View the map and check out the data.