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Articles in Category: MnRA News

Retail in Minnesota: Where 'Minnesota Nice' Meets the Land of 10,000 Lakes

NRF's Retail Across America series tells the Minnesota story; Win a $50 giftcard

Watch all 5 videos, post what you love about retail in Minnesota with #loveMNretail and be eligible to win a $50 gift card! See the end of this article for details.

Mention Minnesota to anyone and they will likely think about our beautiful lakes, our vibrant retail scene - from quaint downtown stores to the iconic Mall of America - and the idea that everyone you meet is "Minnesota Nice." Each of those are actually accurate when it comes to Minnesota, but there is so much more.

Minnesota is proud to have recently hosted NRF's Retail Across America road trip as we traveled the state to show off the innovative and unique nature of retail.

From Red Wing to Duluth, we visited some of the nation's most recognized brands - like Best Buy, Target, Duluth Pack and Mall of America - and some of our beloved local favorites including the Uffda Shop, Grand Jete dance store, Tin Whiskers Brewing Company and 36Lyn refuel station. And we made a few stops at regional retailers like playful Creative Kidstuff and small-town stalwart Thrifty White Pharmacy. Minnesota truly has as many retail innovators as we do lakes!

At each stop, the NRF crew got a good taste of Minnesota Nice. While we take a little ribbing for the term, Minnesota Nice is really core to how retailers in Minnesota treat customers and interact in their communities. You see it in community support, how employers and employees work together to solve problems and in the way we create experiences for customers.

Minnesota's diverse retail community supports one in five jobs across the state - an opportunity to impact more than 780,000 people in each and every city. That's 70,000 retailers coming together to add $46 billion to the economy.

A special thank you to our friends at the National Retail Federation for their investment in this video series. We loved showing you Minnesota!

Video 1: Retail In Minnesota Is Connected!

Video 2: It's True, There Really I A Minnesota Nice

Video 3: Small Businesses: More Than A Place To Shop

Video 4: Handcrafted And Only In Minnesota

Video 5: Minnesota Innovation: Retail Tech In Real Time

Want to be eligible to win a $50 gift card?

Watch the five videos then share your favorite moments or stories about retailers you love in Minnesota on social media with the hashtag #loveMNretail to be placed our drawing for a $50 gift card giveaway! Gift card giveaway cut-off March 4 at noon. Must use #loveMNretail to be entered in to the drawing. Gift card can be from any Minnesota Retailers Associationon member--winners choice! Family and friends eligible. 

 

2016 Board Chair Glen Thompson, JCPenney, Outlines Priorities

Thompson brings 40 years of retail experience to his leadership role

The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to welcome Glen Thompson, store manager at JCPenney in Minnetonka at Ridgedale Mall, as its 2016 Board chair. In his volunteer role Thompson leads a group of 28 Board members from across the state and a staff focused on growing Minnesota’s retail economy and jobs.

Thompson lives in Plymouth and has worked in the retail sector for JCPenney since 1975. Thompson began as a store sales associate in St. Louis, Missouri and has held a variety of positions across the country, settling in his store manager role in Minnetonka in 2003.

“This past holiday season reinforced for me how important a vibrant, diverse retail industry is to Minnesota’s consumers, our communities, and employees. Retailers are an essential part of the state’s economy and I am excited to lead a Board and staff committed to the growth of retail throughout the state. I am pleased to play a role in an association dedicated to protecting and enhancing the one-in-five jobs in our State that depend on the success of retailers,” said Thompson.

Thompson's MnRA priorities for 2016 include:

  • Advocate for retail at the Capitol  - we play a critical role in shaping public policy as we work to improve the retail environment in Minnesota.
  • Promote and enhance the retail industry - demonstrate the clear value and expertise of the organization to members, potential members, policy makers, and the media.
  • Serve our members - inform and educate MnRA’s membership on legislative issues, as well as potential threats and challenges resulting from ever changing and improving technology, criminal activity, and fraudulent acts.
  • Promote membership - increase the diversity of MnRA membership through targeted recruiting and grassroots network.

Thompson succeeds Chuck Armstrong who served as Board Chair in 2015 representing Burnsville-based Pawn America. Armstrong resides in Woodbury.

“2015 was a great year for the Minnesota Retailers Association under the leadership of Chuck Armstrong. Chuck made sure we had a strong presence across the state this past year-from Alexandria to Mankato,” said association president Bruce Nustad.  “In addition, Chuck worked hard to help retailers understand how organized retail crime is impacting stores and cultivated new relationships between retailers and law enforcement.”

Thompson’s leadership role began January 1 and runs through December 31.

2015 Board Chair, Pawn America's Chuck Armstrong, Outlines Priorities

New chair bring strong relationship with law enforcement to the table

The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to welcome Chuck Armstrong, chief legislative officer at Burnsville-based Pawn America, as its 2015 Board chair. In his volunteer role Armstrong leads a group of 27 Board members from across the state and a staff focused on growing Minnesota’s retail economy and jobs.

Armstrong lives in Woodbury and has worked in the retail sector since 2010, before that holding several key staff positions at nonprofit associations including the Minnesota High Tech Association and the St. Paul Area Chamber of Commerce.

“Retailers are an essential part of the state’s economy and I am excited to lead a Board and staff committed to the growth of retail throughout Minnesota’s neighborhoods and communities. There are many opportunities for retailers today given changes occurring in consumer spending, retail innovation, and technology. At the same time challenges exist, like rising organized criminal activity. I am pleased to play a role in an association dedicated to protecting and enhancing the 788,000 Minnesota jobs that depend on the success of retailers,” said Armstrong.

Armstrong succeeds Best Buy’s senior director of government affairs, Mike Hiltner, as chair of the Board.

Armstrong's priorities for 2015 include:

  1. Educate and inform MnRA's membership on potential threats and challenges to businesses resulting from every changing and improving technology, criminal activity and fraudulent acts.
  2. Demonstrate the clear value and expertise of the organization to members, potential members, policy makers and the media.
  3. Grow MnRA's membership and grass roots network.

“2014 was a great year for the Minnesota Retailers Association under the leadership of Mike Hiltner. Mike continues to be a strong advocate for the retail industry in Minnesota as he enters his eighth year of service on the Board. In addition, he will continue to serve on the board’s Executive Committee,” said association president Bruce Nustad.  “With increased organized retail crime as seen over the past holiday season, we are excited about Chuck’s leadership in 2015, especially given the relationships he has fostered with the law enforcement community.

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