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Target Dials Back Presence at NRF’s Big Show Amid Omicron Concerns

Target said on Friday that it has cut back participation in the National Retail Federation’s Big Show, one of the largest annual trade shows for the retail industry.

The news comes as other companies and executives dial back their public attendance at events amid surges of the Omicron variant across the country. Last week, almost 70 attendees reportedly tested positive for the coronavirus after attending the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, though it is unclear how they contracted the virus.

NRF’s Big Show is slated to start Sunday in New York City’s Javits Center.

A Target spokesperson confirmed to FN that its CEO Brian Cornell is still scheduled to participate at this year’s event. and give a keynote address. “If he attends in person, like all attendees, Mr. Cornell will follow the event’s stringent safety protocols,” the spokesperson said. “We have reduced additional team travel, and for the other Target executives, we have been exploring virtual participation options. As we have throughout the pandemic, we will continue to monitor the situation and follow all local health guidelines as we stay in close contact with NRF and adjust our plans as needed.”

SAS, a software company that was also slated to attend the show, said on Twitter that it would be participating in sessions remotely.

NRF, which rolled out updated safety protocols for the show in December, is requiring all attendees to provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination. Masks are also required to worn while indoors at the conference and NRF will provide N95 and KN95 masks to attendees.

Several retailers have recently pulled out of the upcoming Outdoor Retailer Snow Show in Denver scheduled for Jan. 26-28, including Sperry, Lamo and Merrell.

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