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NRF Releases Retail Principles for Artificial Intelligence

“Retailers use AI to better serve their customers, improve the shopping experience and increase the efficiency of their operations”

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(PRESS RELEASE) WASHINGTON, DC – The National Retail Federation released its Principles for the Use of Artificial Intelligence in the Retail Sector to support the industry’s artificial intelligence (AI) governance and strategic planning. Developed through its Center for Digital Risk & Innovation, the principles encourage appropriate and effective governance of AI, promote consumer trust, and facilitate ongoing innovation and beneficial use of AI technologies.

“Retailers use AI to better serve their customers, improve the shopping experience and increase the efficiency of their operations,” NRF Vice President of Retail Technology & Cybersecurity and Executive Director of the NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation Christian Beckner said. “As retailers of all sizes continue to expand their AI capabilities, these general principles for the use of AI are increasingly critical to the industry.”

The principles fall into four high-level categories:

  1. Governance and Risk Management: Retailers should develop strong internal governance of AI tools and capabilities as a foundational basis for managing risks and ensuring that AI delivers expected benefits.
  2. Customer Engagement and Trust: Retailers should be transparent about their uses of AI that have a legal or similarly significant effect on a customer, establish safeguards to prevent unlawful discrimination against protected classes of individuals, and align their governance of consumer-facing AI applications with existing internal privacy, cybersecurity and other data governance policies.
  3. Workforce Applications and Use: Retailers should engage in ongoing oversight and review of AI applications that may directly impact employees or that are used by the workforce to support business needs.
  4. Business Partner Accountability: Retailers should establish clear guidelines and expectations for business partners that are providing AI tools, data sets and services.

The NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation Center serves as the focal point for NRF’s engagement on technology issues that have significant policy and risk management implications for the global retail industry. The Center plans to develop reports and additional guidelines in the coming months that provide additional context and assist retailers with using these principles.

As the leading authority and voice for the retail industry, NRF engages with retail technology leaders to deliver insights on technology trends and challenges and facilitate collaboration across the sector.

More information about the NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation is available here.

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About NRF

The National Retail Federation passionately advocates for the people, brands, policies and ideas that help retail succeed. From its headquarters in Washington, D.C., NRF empowers the industry that powers the economy. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, contributing $3.9 trillion to annual GDP and supporting one in four U.S. jobs – 52 million working Americans. For over a century, NRF has been a voice for every retailer and every retail job, educating, inspiring and communicating the powerful impact retail has on local communities and global economies. nrf.com

About the NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation

The NRF Center for Digital Risk & Innovation is the National Retail Federation’s hub for engagement on key technology issues that have significant policy and risk management implications for the global retail industry. The Center engages with retailers, industry partners and other stakeholders to develop guidelines and recommended best practices on technology issues and inform decision-making and risk management by retail business leaders. nrf.com/cdri

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