Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!


Eight 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 2.

9 Pieces Of 2020 Advice For Retailers & Their Key Business Partners

9 Pieces Of 2020 Advice For Retailers & Their Key Business Partners
As the new year hits, we asked MnRA friends to share advice for retailers and their key partners. Here are the top pieces of advice we selected:
"Create a premium brand. Keep your product and service fresh and the best. Treat your employees like gold and tell your customers how much you appreciate them. Leave them feeling always like they have found the best kept secret."
- Insight from Roberta Bonoff, founder, Envision It!
"Ground yourself in the consumers’ experience expectations. How do they want to interact with your brand, then meet them there. Ask yourself how their behaviors and expectations will change, then adapt."
- Insight from Marisa Kinney, Sr. Director, Global Retail, Red Wing Shoe Co.
"The most successful retailer and supplier partners in 2020 are the ones that work seamlessly together to create one-of-a-kind products and experiences that draw in their consumers. Seek out the partners that you are best able to work with to bring these visions to life!"
- Insight from Juli Lassow, Owner & Principal, JHL Solutions
"Focus on execution. Don't fool yourself into thinking execution is something other people in your organization will handle. Require absolute clarity at the intersection between your brand (website or staff) and your customers. Strategic initiatives without flawless execution yield no value."
- Insight from Flora Delaney, President, Delaney Consulting
"Look for opportunities to be proactive on generating incoming business versus waiting for customers to walk into your stores. Go get them."
- Insight from Scott Plum, Founder, Minnesota Sales Institute, LLC
"Harness the power of Neuroscience and Psychology to boost sales and marketing. Neuroscience and Psychology have revealed many insights on how consumers make buying decisions. Those insights can help retailers sell more at lower cost. Watch this 17-minute TED Talk on the unconscious buying decisions:"
- Insight from Terry Wu, President, Neuromarketing Services
"Get active in your local business community! It doesn’t take much. Call your local chamber of commerce or business association and be a part of the conversation shaping the community around you."
- Insight from Savannah Sepic, Government Relations Manager, Minnesota Retailers Association
"It’s not easy, but tell your customers the story of your philanthropic efforts and the organizations you support. And develop a giving strategy and process (it only has to be a few sentences but write it down!) that aligns with your favorite causes to make it easier to say yes and no to charitable requests in 2020."
- Insight from a small business owner
"The trick to surviving the 2020 elections is focusing on people and ideas, not politics. Politics today seems to be all about winners and losers. People and ideas are how we will advance Minnesota and our communities."
- Insight from Bruce Nustad, President, Minnesota Retailers Association



Eight Retail Leaders To Be Recognized As Minnesota’s Retail Champions

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2019

Today’s Minnesota consumer is well-researched, cost-conscious and appreciative of shopping experiences and options. Join the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) as we recognizeeight leading retailers and industry partners at the announcement of the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champions.                                                                                                   

“We are proud to recognize eight innovative retailers, communities and partners that are leading the way in connecting with consumers and today’s trends following a vigorous 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 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champion Award recipients:

Best Place to Work
Red Wing Shoe Company, Red Wing, MN and locations worldwide
Read more about this award!

Customer Experience
Wet Paint, St. Paul, MN
Read more about this award!

Outstanding Achievement
Glenn McKee, Games by James, locations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin
Read more about this award!

Retailer of the Year
Hubert White, Minneapolis, MN
Read more about this award!

Retail Employee of the Year                                                                                                                                               
Kee Kong, Joe’s Sporting Goods, Little Canada, MN
Read more about this award!

Retail Innovation
Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Brainerd, MN
Read more about this award!

Social Responsibility
Mall of America, Bloomington, MN
Read more about this award!

Vendor Partner of the Year
Branch, Minneapolis, MN
Read more about this award!

MnRA started the award process by putting out a statewide call for nominations early in the year.  A panel of peer judges reviewed nearly eight dozen nominations and selected the top nominee in each category. Tickets to the event are $25 online at

Red Wing Shoe Company Recognized As Best Place To Work

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2019

Red Wing Shoe Company Recognized As Best Place To Work

After reviewing dozens of applications from across the state, the Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Red Wing Shoe Company with its Best Place To Work award in the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“In an industry where there can be high employee turnover Red Wing Shoe Co. stands out as an organization that invests in their employees and understands how to keep and grow employees based on their passions and aspirations,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “It’s clear Red Wing works hard to be a family-centered manufacturer and retailer that treats their employees with the utmost respect, including offering opportunities to grow within the company and the communities where they do business. That doesn’t just happen, it’s intentional and engrained in the business culture. There are so many positive employee stories where family members have worked at Red Wing Shoe Co. for decades. We are so pleased to recognize Red Wing Shoe Co. as a Best Place To Work.”

“We are honored to be selected as a 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champion awards winner in the category of Best Place to Work,” says Marisa Kinney, Senior Director in Global Retail for Red Wing Shoe Co. “This award is a reflection of our belief that every employee at Red Wing Shoe Co. makes a direct impact on our customer’s lives around the world. Our goal is that all of our teams come to work every day   and feel proud. The success of our company comes directly from their contributions. I could not be more proud to work in a culture of care and respect, and am equally as proud and thankful for the employees that make Red Wing Shoes their home.”

A representative of Red Wing Shoe Company will accept the award in person during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at Brookview in Golden Valley beginning at 2:00 p.m. The event features seven 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting edge retail innovations strategies and ideas. Speakers include local favorite and award-winning news anchor-reporter Robyne Robinson with fiveXfive Public Art.

Red Wing Shoe Company is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Best Place To Work award. Seven other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Employee of the Year, Social Responsibility, Retail Innovation, Vendor Partner of the Year, Customer Experience, Outstanding Achievement, and Retailer of the Year.

Retail Rally event information can be found at

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