NRF to decorate Costco co-founder Sinegal with gold

The National Retail Federation will honor Jim Sinegal, Costco co-founder and board member, with its Gold Medal Award during Retail’s BIG Show.

Additionally, NRF has named South Korea’s Lotte Shopping as the International Retailer of the Year. Shin Heon, president and CEO of the company, will accept the award. Nike has been named Retail Innovator of the Year, and Half Price Books’ EVP and chief strategy officer Kathy Doyle Thomas has been selected as 2014’s Silver Plaque recipient.

The award members are selected each year by the Awards Committee, which is made up of select members of the NRF board. The recipients, two distinguished industry leaders and two renowned retail companies, will accept their awards during the annual retail industry luncheon at NRF’s annual convention and EXPO Monday, Jan. 13. The BIG Show will be held at the Jacob Javits Center in New York City, January 12-15.

“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.”  

The Gold Medal is given to an individual who has served the industry with distinction and achieved a national reputation for excellence. The recipient is deemed to have displayed creative genius and inspirational leadership and has won the respect of fellow merchants for devotion to the retail craft.

This year’s recipient, Sinegal, served as president and CEO of Costco from its inception in 1983 until 2012 and remains on Costco’s board of directors. During his 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 EVP 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 EVP, overseeing merchandising and operations.



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