About

/About
About2018-07-24T13:49:14+00:00
Your retail champion in Hampton Roads

We are committed to strengthening the retail community by championing for your success, educating you and your peers, and building lasting relationships far beyond your membership.

The Retail Alliance is a non-profit trade association serving the interests of local retailers in Hampton Roads since 1903. We promote and support the healthy growth of retail businesses and trade through our signature programs: STRIVE educational workshops, Center for Retail Excellence education, Virginia Retail Federation legislative lobbying and industry advocacy, LOVEVA Buy Local rewards program, plus many other discounts and member benefits.

We promise to provide our retail and business partners with dependable, responsive, and uncompromising products and service. We build alliances within the retail community, with vendors, industry and community leaders, and allied businesses for the success of our retail members.

1903

The Retail Merchants Association of Norfolk elected officers and started meeting in Chamber of Commerce headquarters

1906

The Association organized a Bureau of Credit and moved to its own space in the Bureau of Trade in downtown Norfolk.

1957

The company expanded its services by adding a Recovery Department for collections of past due accounts.

1978

The Retail Merchants Association of Norfolk merged with The Retail Merchants Association of Portsmouth to become The Retail Merchants Association of Tidewater, Virginia Inc.

1979

Retail Merchants Association moved to Poplar Hall Drive in the Military Hwy district of Norfolk.

1981

Credit bureau division became an affiliate of Equifax (then CBI).

1986

Acquired Credit Bureau of Suffolk and expanded into Franklin and Isle of Wight County.

1998

Reinforcing mission as a retail association, started offering retail services.

2001

Equifax acquired credit reporting files but kept Retail Alliance as sales agent in expanded sales territory.

2004

Sold mortgage reporting operation and recovery services.

2005

After sale of business assets, sold Poplar Hall and downsized to leased space on E Plume St in downtown Norfolk.

2007

RA partnered with Retail Merchants Association of Richmond to create the Virginia Retail Federation (VRF), a joint advocacy group representing retail issues at local, state and federal levels.

2010

Purchased current offices at 838 Granby St, Norfolk.

2011

Retail Alliance Foundation formed as a charitable and educational arm. A percentage of dues collected goes to the Foundation.

2012

RA Business Solutions formed as a for-profit corporation to represent Equifax in VA.*

2013

Revised our mission to match our mantra “to be a trusted resource for the success of local retailers.”

2014

Launched LOVEVA, a unique buy local program and mobile app that rewards consumers for shopping locally.

2016

Launched Center for Retail Excellence, with a mission to be the premier source for retail education and support for aspiring and existing business owners.

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MEMBER BENEFITS

Valuable benefits and services designed to help retailers succeed

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EDUCATION AND ENTREPRENEURSHIP

Education and training for aspiring and existing retailers

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ADVOCACY

Using our voice to protect the rights of retailers

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Buy Local

Program and app rewarding consumers for shopping locally

Mission

Mission

To be a trusted resource for the success of local retailers.

We will be recognized as the premier organization serving
the interests of local retailers in Greater Hampton Roads.

Vision

Vision

Values

Values

We aspire to contribute every day to your success.

We believe that freely sharing information and knowledge is the basis for positive growth.

We care passionately about our work, your business, the communities we serve, and we celebrate your accomplishments as we do our own.

We aspire to contribute every day to your success.

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History

Since 1903, the founding principles of Retail Alliance have centered on the core value of service to our membership and to the retail community.

In 1902, the Norfolk Chamber of Commerce determined that retailers’ needs were different from most businesses. Thus, the Retail Merchants Association was created a year later.

The issues that were addressed by the new association were timeless in nature. They included networking opportunities, transportation, advertising, licensing, taxes, holiday closings, etc.

During the early years of the association, the extension of credit by retailers was a crucial part of day-to-day business. With the creation of the Retail Merchants Association (RMA) in 1903, RMA was in the right place at the right time to cater to the credit reporting needs of its members. In 1906, the purchase of the Norfolk Bureau of Credit was the ideal fit for the organization.

Throughout the years, RMA focused on credit reporting initiatives. Through automation and other peripheral services (mortgage credit reporting and recovery services), the credit bureau became a major revenue generator.

Changes in technology, automation, and national mergers supplanted the need for a local credit bureau and its peripheral services.

The credit reporting files were sold to Equifax, with RA Business Solutions continuing to represent Equifax as the Sales Agent in Hampton Roads.

Retail Alliance continues as the association and non-profit arm of Retail Alliance, providing advocacy, benefits, and education to retailers throughout the region.

The goals and strategies employed over the last century serve as a solid foundation for the coming years as the expansion of Retail Alliance continues and we strive for continuous improvement of offerings and representation for all local retailers.