Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!

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Ten Retail Leaders Recognized As Minnesota’s Retail Champions Amid Industry Innovation & Changing Consumer Trends!

right arrow rotating green  See the list of award winners now! Winner recognized at Retail Rally October 9.

Alexandria Named Retail Community of the Year

Award Recognizes Alexandria's Unique Partnerships That Support Retail

Alexandria Named Retail Community of the Year

After reviewing dozens of applications from across the state, the Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to announce the community of Alexandria, MN as the Retail Community of the Year in the 2018 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“Alexandria was selected based on the unique partnerships that exist in the community that not only recognize the importance of a strong retail sector as a component of a vibrant area, but for the effort, resources and most importantly the cooperation among those partners,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “The Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce, the Downtown Merchants Association, the City, Explore Alexandria Tourism, the Alexandria Area Economic Development Commission, community and civic organizations, retailers, and others all work in concert to make the area a strong destination for shoppers. What is truly unique about Alexandria is the retail experiences that are created as the community works together.”

“Alexandria has a unique energy going on right now,” says Alexandria Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Tara Bitzan. “Some of that comes from the collaborations, partnerships and support shared by the various entities, but much of it also comes from the strong business-to-business support going on throughout the community. Instead of competing against each other, businesses are teaming up in many ways and working together for the good of the entire community. The impact of that has definitely been a positive thing for our community.”

“The Downtown Merchants Association is honored to be recognized for the work that is being done to help promote not only the Alexandria Downtown area but also the entire City of Alexandria,” says Pam Botker, president of the Alexandria Downtown Merchants Association. “We work closely with several area organizations to make sure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goal.  The City, Chamber, and Explore Alexandria have a great working relationship with the Downtown Merchants and we often work together to promote events which bring in shoppers from a wide geographical area.”

Representatives from Alexandria will accept the award in person during the Retail Rally event on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at the Doubletree Hotel in St. Louis Park beginning at 2:30 p.m. The event features a keynote speech by Amanda Brinkman, “Retail Lessons Learned While Revitalizing Main Streets Across America”. Brinkman is chief creator and host of the “Small Business Revolution - Main Street”—a critically acclaimed HULU series celebrating small businesses and revitalizing main streets across America, and chief brand and communications officer of Deluxe.

Alexandria is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Retail Community of the Year award. Nine other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Innovation, Advocate of the Year, Retail Employee of the Year, Social Responsibility and Retailer of the Year.

See the awards video including Alexandria here:

Ten Retail Leaders To Be Recognized As Minnesota’s Retail Champions Amid Industry Innovation & Changing Consumer Trends

Ten Retail Leaders To Be Recognized As Minnesota’s Retail Champions Amid Industry Innovation & Changing Consumer Trends

The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) is pleased to recognize ten organizations leading the way in attracting consumers with the announcement of the 2018 Minnesota’s Retail Champions.

Winners will accept their awards in person during the Retail Rally event on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at the Doubletree Hotel in St. Louis Park (1500 Park Place Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN 55416) beginning at 2:30 p.m. The event features a keynote speech by Amanda Brinkman, “Retail Lessons Learned While Revitalizing Main Streets Across America”. Brinkman is chief creator and host of the “Small Business Revolution - Main Street”—a critically acclaimed HULU series celebrating small businesses and revitalizing main streets across America, and chief brand and communications officer of Deluxe.

Watch the winner's video here:

We are proud to recognize 10 innovative retailers, communities and partners that rose to the top following a robust process to identify Minnesota’s Retail Champions,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “The retail industry has a deep impact on Minnesota communities, and these award recipients are truly representative of what’s great about retail across the state, how the industry is changing, and what it takes to attract customers today.

The following is a complete list of the 2018 Minnesota’s Retail Champion Award recipients:

Best Place to Work
Kwik Trip, locations throughout Minnesota

Customer Experience
Red Balloon Bookshop, St. Paul, MN

Advocate of the Year
Mike Drury, Drury’s Furniture, Fountain, MN

Lifetime Achievement
Gordy Engel, The Foursome, Plymouth, MN

Retail Community of the Year
Alexandria, MN

Retail Employee of the Year
Paula Christensen, Grand Jeté, St. Paul, MN

Retail Innovation
Askov Finlayson, Minneapolis, MN

Retailer of the Year
Target, locations throughout Minnesota

Social Responsibility
Arc’s Value Village Thrift Store & Donation Center, Bloomington, New Hope, Richfield, St. Paul, MN

Vendor Partner of the Year
Rustica Bakery, Minneapolis, MN

MnRA started the award process by putting out a statewide call for nominations in the 10 categories. A panel of peer judges reviewed nearly seven dozen nominations and selected the top nominee in each category. Tickets to the event are $39 online at www.retailrally.com.

To learn more about Deluxe's Small Business Revolution TV Show visit https://www.deluxe.com/sbrc/small-business-revolution.

Big News! U.S. Supreme Court Issues Sales Tax Fairness Decision Retailers Have Been Waiting For

retailers welcome opportunity to compete on level sales tax playing field

Big News! U.S. Supreme Court Issues Sales Tax Fairness Decision Retailers Have Been Waiting For

In big news out of Washington, D.C. this morning, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of a level sales tax playing field in South Dakota v. Wayfair. The case centered on a loophole in the law that allowed retailers without a physical presence in the state to avoid collecting and remitting state sales tax.

The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) has long held the position that retail sales should be treated the same--whether in-store or online and regardless of the location of the retailer.

"It appears fairness is on a path to prevailing. Today's decision is a big moment for Minnesota retailers that have argued for sales tax fairness for years and years," said MnRA President Bruce Nustad in reaction to the news. "This is a great step in leveling the playing field and ensuring an online sale has the same tax treatment as an in-store sale."

"This issue has plagued retailers in towns across Minnesota as well across the country for years. Retailers welcome the opportunity to compete for customers on service, convenience and price, without a competitor having an unfair tax advantage," added Nustad.

In 2013 MnRA worked with the Minnesota Legislature and Governor to ensure retailers with a physical presence in Minnesota were collecting sales tax on their online sales, and in anticipation of today's decision the Association last year worked on remote-seller language to cover third-party marketplace transactions beginning July 1, 2019 or when a favorable decision was delivered (as it was today) by the U.S. Supreme Court.

With today's ruling, MnRA will take the next steps of analyzing the decision and continuing to work with our elected officials as well as the Minnesota Department of Revenue.

MnRA thanks the countless number of retailers that have worked on this issue over the years, as well as our legislative partners at the state and federal level.

Read the full decision here.

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