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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President, Minnesota Retailers Association
Emily McGann has been elected chair of the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA). In late January the Board of Directors met and selected McGann to lead the organization representing 1,200 retail stores. The volunteer leadership role is for one year and encompasses leading a group of 25 Board members from all around Minnesota and a staff focused on growing Minnesota’s retail economy and jobs.
McGann is a regional director of state government affairs for CVS Health, where she works with elected officials in Minnesota, as well as Iowa, Indiana, Michigan, Nevada, North Dakota, and Wisconsin. CVS Health is a health innovation company working to help people on their path to better health. Its CVS Pharmacy retail division has more than 9,800 locations, including more than 130 retail pharmacies in Minnesota.
McGann is excited about her leadership role, saying “Minnesota has such a vibrant, diverse retail community. I look forward to this opportunity and am ready to ensure that the retail voice will be well represented and heard across the state as we discuss issues important to employees and the retail business model."
McGann succeeds small business owner Lonnie McQuirter. “We are excited for Emily’s leadership as retailers in Minnesota continue to innovate and, in some cases, reinvent themselves. Emily’s knowledge and passion for both retail and government relations will allow her to contribute greatly in her role as chair as we continue to tell the important story of retail,” said MnRA staff president Bruce Nustad. “And we thank Lonnie for his dedication and commitment of time and energy to the industry this past year.”
MnRA welcomes Savannah Sepic
The Minnesota Retailers Association is excited to welcome our new government relations manager, Savannah Sepic.
Savannah was born in Rochester, Minnesota but has spent much of her life in Madison, Wisconsin. This past May, Savannah graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire with a double major in political science and advertising.
Savannah recently moved to St. Paul and is already enjoying exploring Minnesota and all it has to offer, including our vibrant retail community.
Savannah served as a legislative intern at the Eau Claire Area Chamber of Commerce where she organized Chippewa Valley Rally, a grassroots member activity similar to MnRA's annual Retail Day at the Capitol. In addition, Savannah researched chamber policies and helped members engage with elected officials.
Following graduation and through the 2018 election, Savannah ran a field office for a political party in Hudson, Wisconsin.
Politics and membership organizations are second nature to Savannah as she grew up accompanying her father--a veteran of the chamber of commerce and association industry--to board meetings.
"I am excited to learn the ins and outs of the association, along with diving into the issues important to our members," said Savannah. "I look forward to meeting everyone and the start of the 2019 legislative session."