If you've never heard of Baltimorean Jim Adams, the National Retail Federation is hoping you will soon, thanks to a promotional campaign by the trade group.
Adams owns Falls Road Running Store on Falls Road. A full page advertisement featuring a photo of Adams with running shoes draped around his neck appears today in Politico in print and in electronic newsletters as part of a five day-campaign of full-page ads featuring stories of shop owners across the country.
"I'm Jim Adams ... and This is Retail," says the ad, part of a larger campaign by the retail trade association to promote retail as a career and show the types of career choices available.
Adams was selected as one of five national finalists in the NRF's "This is Retail" video contest. The top 20 winners were selected after a week of public voting in April in which more than 245,000 votes were cast. Additional voting whittled down the videos to top five, then three.
The NRF says it launched the "Retail Means Jobs" video contest to emphasize the economic importance of retail, which the group says supports one in four U.S. jobs, and encourage policy makers to take steps to boost economic growth and create jobs.
Ellen Davis, a senior vice president of NRF, says the Adams video was the most all encompassing in terms of showing retail's effect on the economy.
"It really demonstrates how retail is at the hub of everything," Davis said. "The general goal is to demonstrate to the policy makers and others who read influential Washington publications that retail is everywhere. We provide jobs to millions of Americans and power the economy."
Appearing in his store and with his employees on a video that was produced by his son, Adams talks about reinvesting in his own independent specialty running store, replenishing inventory from manufacturers, paying employees and creating jobs for truck drivers and farmers.
"Once my employees receive their paychecks, which comes from the sale of shoes in the store, they spend that money in a variety of places," he says.
"I'm going to buy new clothes!" one employee says.
"Sixty bucks, 30 Natty Bohs," says another.
And, Adams continues on the video, shoe sales power the economy indirectly too, as the delivery truck driver goes to a restaurant and leaves a tip for a waiter who goes to the movies and buy snacks made in factories from produce that comes from farms.
"The farmer may have a sore back and visit a doctor," Adams says in his wrap up. "Then, the doctor will say, 'If you had a good pair of shoes, your back wouldn't hurt so much.'"
Though the video didn't make the top three, it's up for a special judges choice award, to be given this week during the NRF's leadership conference in Washington.
Here's a link to the video: