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Target, SAS, others cut back visits to New York retail trade show as Omicron spikes

By Arriana McLymore and Danielle Kaye NEW YORK, NY (Reuters) - Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) and computer software firm SAS are among major companies bowing out of what is billed as...
Target, SAS, others cut back visits to New York retail trade show as Omicron spikes © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Shoping carts are wheeled outside a Target Store during Black Friday sales in Brooklyn, New York, U.S., November 26, 2021. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

By Arriana McLymore and Danielle Kaye

NEW YORK, NY (Reuters) - Target Corp (NYSE:TGT) and computer software firm SAS are among major companies bowing out of what is billed as the retail industry's biggest annual trade show, slated to start Sunday in New York City's Javits Center.

Target, which had at least five executives slated to attend, said it has reduced team travel and its execs including President of the Target Foundation Amanda Nusz would now host virtual sessions. SAS, which sponsored at least eight sessions, announced on Twitter (NYSE:TWTR) it was also participating virtually.

As the Omicron variant of COVID-19 has been ripping through New York, the National Retail Federation's (NRF) Big Show is the latest major convention to push forward with plans that could lead to a potential super spreader event.

At last week's Consumer Electronics Show (CES), nearly 70 attendees, including some Samsung (KS:005930) executives, tested positive for the virus. It was unclear whether they contracted the virus at the convention.

One Twitter user said he canceled his NRF plans after contracting COVID-19 at the consumer electronics event.

NRF is requiring conference attendees to show proof of vaccination and to wear masks. N95 and KN95 masks will be distributed along with COVID-19 rapid tests.

"As we move from pandemic to endemic — a new environment in which we say life can and should go on — there’s going to be friction as we adjust. This year’s show is a step forward, and we believe it’s a necessary and meaningful one," NRF chief executive Matthew Shay said in a LinkedIn post.

Executives from Walmart (NYSE:WMT), Chewy (NYSE:CHWY), Best Buy and cloud-based retail platform NewStore are pressing on with plans to attend the 15,000-person retail trade show.

NewStore is hosting a booth but dialing back external activities for the retail show, according to chief marketing officer Phil Granof. The company is canceling networking dinners, one-on-one meetings and halving the number of employees at the conference to 20 from 40 in previous years.

Granof said that as larger companies pull out, there is less competition for attention. Still, big corporations are not the only ones canceling plans. Gaming platform Unity said it dropped out "after taking into account the current case numbers and employee and vendor comfort level."

"I cancelled my plans last week. Missing it two years in a row after 15 yrs. [This year] would have been my 17th," ShiSh Shridhar, global retail head of Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) for Startups, said on Twitter.

NRF in December released its updated COVID protocols, ensuring the conference had the green light to go on with 25,000 planned attendees and 900 exhibitors. By Jan. 12, the NRF said there were 15,000 confirmed attendees and 750 vendors.

"The irony, of course, is as the attendance drops, the conference becomes safer," Granof said.

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27-01-2022 18:26:04 (UTC+7)

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 EUR/USD1.1142Sell
 GBP/USD1.3387Neutral
 USD/JPY115.39↑ Buy
 AUD/USD0.7039Buy
 USD/CAD1.2737↑ Sell
 EUR/JPY128.57↑ Buy
 EUR/CHF1.0378↑ Buy
 Gold1,796.45Neutral
 Silver22.800↑ Buy
 Copper4.4290Neutral
 Crude Oil WTI87.42Neutral
 Brent Oil88.84↑ Buy
 Natural Gas4.303↑ Sell
 US Coffee C231.78Buy
 Euro Stoxx 504,184.97↑ Buy
 S&P 5004,326.50↑ Sell
 DAX15,524.27↑ Buy
 FTSE 1007,554.31↑ Buy
 Hang Seng23,807.00↑ Buy
 Small Cap 20001,932.23Neutral
 IBEX 358,706.00↑ Buy
 BASF68.450↑ Sell
 Bayer52.58↑ Sell
 Allianz228.70↑ Sell
 Adidas242.15↑ Sell
 Lufthansa7.045↑ Sell
 Siemens AG140.50↑ Sell
 Deutsche Bank AG11.920↑ Sell
Mua/Bán 1 chỉ SJC
# So hôm qua # Chênh TG
SJC Eximbank6,195/ 6,235
(0/ 0) # 1,263
SJC HCM6,195/ 6,255
(0/ 0) # 1,284
SJC Hanoi6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
SJC Danang6,195/ 6,257
(0/ 0) # 1,286
SJC Nhatrang6,195/ 6,257
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SJC Cantho6,195/ 6,257
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