The National Retail Federation announced Jim Sinegal, co-founder of Costco, as its choice for this year’s gold medal honor. The award will be presented at the annual convention to be held in New York, Jan. 12 -15.
The gold medal is given to an individual who has served the industry with distinction and achieved a national reputation for excellence. The recipient has also displayed creative genius and inspirational leadership and has won the respect of fellow merchants for devotion to the retail craft.
Sinegal served as president and CEO of Costco from its inception in 1983 until 2012 and remains on Costco’s board of directors. During that tenure, Costco became the top warehouse-club retailer in the nation, with more than 645 stores operating in 42 states, Puerto Rico and nine countries, with annual sales of $103 billion.
Prior to joining Costco, Sinegal served as executive vice president for the Price Company. He started his career in retail with Fed-Mart Corporation as a store bagger, eventually climbing the ranks to serve as executive vice president, overseeing merchandising and operations.
“Jim was an obvious choice for NRF’s Gold Award, given his commitment to the industry and Costco, and dedication to creating such a well-respected culture throughout the organization he helped build,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “All of the award winners have successfully been able to cut through the clutter and make an outstanding name for themselves by continuing to innovate and effectively serve their customers in an ever-changing world.”
Other NRF awards include:
Retail Innovator of the Year: Nike Inc.
International Retailer of the Year: Lotte Department Store (South Korea)