Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!

Charles Anderson Recognized with Advocacy Leadership Award

2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

Charles Anderson Advocacy LeadershipSt. Paul (October 9, 2023) – The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Charles Anderson, a commander with the St. Paul Police Department, with its Advocacy Leadership award as part of the 2023-2024 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association, commended Anderson for his exceptional leadership. "Commander Anderson's relentless dedication to addressing Organized Retail Crime demonstrates the importance of collaboration between law enforcement and the retail industry. His leadership has played a significant role in making a safer and more secure retail environment for workers, customers, and communities in Minnesota."

"Organized retail crime is a phenomenon that affects all of our communities, our businesses, business owners, and really has an impact on public safety in all respects," Commander Anderson emphasized, highlighting the far-reaching consequences of Organized Retail Crime. “Doing what I do on a day-to-day basis is ultimately satisfying because its about service with a purpose,” he reflected.

Commander Anderson's tireless commitment to combatting Organized Retail Crime has made a profound impact on local communities, businesses, and public safety. His invaluable expertise played a pivotal role in the successful passage of the Organized Retail Crime definition bill during the 2023 legislative session.

Anderson is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Advocacy Leadership award. Eleven other organizations and individuals will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Advocate of the Year, Advocate Partner of the Year, Community Partner of the Year, Retail Mentor of the Year, Retail Collaboration, Customer Experience, Vendor Partner of the Year, Social Responsibility, and Retail Community of the Year.

Anderson will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Bloomington. The event features practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations, strategies, and ideas. Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Click here to see all the 2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champions award winners.

About the Minnesota Retailers Association: The Minnesota Retailers Association promotes, preserves, and enhances the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact members. MnRA also works to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value to its members. www.mnretail.org.

Contact: Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (651) 227-6631

Walt’s Recognized with Community Partner of the Year Award

2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

Walts Community Partner Of The YearSt. Paul (October 2, 2023) – The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Walt’s with its Community Partner of the Year award as part of the 2023-2024 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

"Walt's embodies the true spirit of community partnership, and their generosity sets an inspiring example for all retailers in Minnesota," praised Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association, commending Walt's for their outstanding dedication to community service.

Scott Barney, co-owner of Walt's, reflected on the spirit of giving passed down from the founder and namesake, Walt Gislason, saying, "I don't think there's ever been someone who's walked through these doors that's said 'We have a fundraiser,' that we've ever said no to."

“Walt’s is a key community partner and a great example of what makes the Willmar Lakes Area an exceptional community,” said Willmar Lakes Area Chamber of Commerce retiring President Ken Warner. “The team at Walt’s shows up every day to make a difference, and at the Chamber we couldn’t be more grateful for the example they set for others.”

Walt's has gone above and beyond in contributing to the well-being of their community. They have actively participated in numerous fundraisers, charitable donations, and acts of kindness. Their commitment to saying "yes" to opportunities to support their community has made them a cornerstone of goodwill in Willmar.

Walt’s is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Community Partner of the Year award. Eleven other organizations and individuals will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, Retail Mentor of the Year, Family Business of the Year, Advocate of the Year, Advocate Partner of the Year, Advocacy Leadership, Retail Collaboration, Customer Experience, Vendor Partner of the Year, Social Responsibility, and Retail Community of the Year.

Barney and Walt’s other co-owners will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Bloomington. The event features practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations, strategies, and ideas. Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Click here to see all the 2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champions award winners.

About the Minnesota Retailers Association: The Minnesota Retailers Association promotes, preserves, and enhances the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact members. MnRA also works to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value to its members. www.mnretail.org.

Contact: Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (651) 227-6631

Bridal Aisle Boutique Recognized with Family Business of the Year Award

2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

Bridal Aisle Boutique Family Business Of The YearSt. Paul (October 2, 2023) – The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Bridal Aisle Boutique in Osseo with its Family Business of the Year award as part of the 2023-2024 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

Bruce Nustad, president of the Minnesota Retailers Association, congratulated Bridal Aisle Boutique, saying, "Bridal Aisle Boutique's story is a testament to the power of family-owned businesses in our communities. Their dedication to offering brides a seamless and memorable experience has earned them the admiration of their peers and the gratitude of countless brides-to-be."

Annette Hall, founder and CEO of Bridal Aisle Boutique, shared her thoughts on running a family business: "My favorite thing about having a family business is sharing it both with the community and within my own family. My children have seen us grow this business from the ground up, and I love being able to share this journey with them."

“We love supporting and recognizing family-owned businesses, such as Bridal Aisle Boutique, at the MetroNorth Chamber,” said MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce President Lori Higgins. “Oftentimes these employers are not thought of as moms or dads, who are just trying to provide jobs, make payroll, put their kids through college, and support their local community, all at the same time. Putting faces and stories to these important small business owners is one of my favorite things to do. Our communities would not be nearly as strong and vibrant as they are without the contributions of family-owned businesses. I am absolutely thrilled to see Annette and her family receive this well-deserved honor from the Minnesota Retailers Association.”

Bridal Aisle Boutique stands out as the largest store of its kind in the Midwest, offering over 2,000 wedding gowns that brides can take home the same day. This off-the-rack boutique has been owned and operated by Annette Hall and her family for the past decade, and their dedication to their customers and their community has earned them well-deserved recognition.

Bridal Aisle Boutique is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Family Business of the Year award. Eleven other organizations and individuals will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Entrepreneur of the Year, Retail Mentor of the Year, Retail Community of the Year, Advocate of the Year, Advocate Partner of the Year, Advocacy Leadership, Community Partner of the Year, Retail Collaboration, Customer Experience, Vendor Partner of the Year, and Social Responsibility.

Annette and her family will accept the award during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 11, 2023, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Bloomington. The event features practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations, strategies, and ideas. Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Click here to see all the 2023-2024 Minnesota's Retail Champions award winners.

About the Minnesota Retailers Association: The Minnesota Retailers Association promotes, preserves, and enhances the retail industry in Minnesota by taking a leadership position in development of public policy and regulatory measures that impact members. MnRA also works to enhance the public image of the retail industry by providing information, services and support that adds value to its members. www.mnretail.org.

Contact: Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (651) 227-6631

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