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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.

Articles in Category: Retail Operations

Statement By Minnesota Retail Association President Bruce Nustad On Shakopee Gift Card Regulation Taking Effect Saturday, May 18, 2019

Shakopee retailers remove third-party gift cards from shelves amid graduation gift-giving over concerns the City ordinance conflicts with business partner agreements and raises the potential for a clerk to be cited with a misdemeanor crime

While the Shakopee Police Department has said it is not the intention of the City to issue citations this weekend, we take complying with the new law seriously. The reality is retailers were only given 11 days to implement changes and that simply isn’t enough time to train each and every employee, change point of sale systems, and re-write operating procedures to ensure the proper checks and balances exist. While retailers do check identification in some instances, there is no routine situation today where the name on a card is verified as the same on a valid government-issued identification.

Out of concern that front-line retail workers could be cited for breaking the law, a number of Shakopee retailers have removed third-party gift cards from their shelves. The last thing a retailer wants is any employee mistakenly selling a regulated card, which would be a violation of the law and be punishable as a misdemeanor.

In addition, as expressed to the Council at its May 7 meeting, the Shakopee ordinance may conflict with agreements between retailers and their business partners. Some retailers have removed cards from their shelves out of concern that the City’s action may lead to a breach of their agreements.

These cards are an important convenience to customers, especially as Minnesotans celebrate graduations and other special occasions this time of year. We hope retailers can get these cards back on their shelves soon, but the City has put some retailers in the position where that won’t happen until there is no risk to employees or liability with their business partners.

Retailers in Shakopee have taken steps to reduce fraud, including moving cards and increasing employee training. It’s unfortunate the City chose to pass this regulation as opposed to continuing to work in partnership with retailers. Our concerns remain that shoppers will take their business to a neighboring community and career criminals will use fraudulent credit cards to obtain other high-value items.

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For interviews, contact:

Bruce Nustad
President, Minnesota Retailers Association
(651) 288-1640
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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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