Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!

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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.

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.

Retail Entrepreneur and 36 Lyn Refuel Station Owner Lonnie McQuirter Selected As 2018 Minnesota Retailers Association Board Chair

Retail Entrepreneur and 36 Lyn Refuel Station Owner Lonnie McQuirter Selected As 2018 Minnesota Retailers Association Board Chair

Retail Entrepreneur and 36 Lyn Refuel Station Owner Lonnie McQuirter Selected As 2018 Minnesota Retailers Association Board Chair

Lonnie McQuirter has been elected chair of the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA). In late January the Board of Directors gathered and selected McQuirter to lead the organization representing 1,200 retail stores. The volunteer leadership role is for one year and encompasses leading a group of 28 Board members from across the state and a staff focused on growing Minnesota’s retail economy and jobs.

McQuirter operates 36 Lyn Refuel Station, a convenience store based in south Minneapolis. 36 Lyn is focused on providing customers with local and better-for-you-items delivered in a convenience setting. Last year 36 Lyn was honored with Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal’s Fast50 award as and Inc. magazine's Inc. 5000 as a top Minnesota company.

McQuirter is optimistic about the overall retail environment, saying “Broadly speaking, as retailers we know what headwinds we’re facing, and we are adapting to the shifts taking place in the economy. 2018 is more about reminding people of the importance of our growing industry and all the opportunities involved.”

McQuirter succeeds Grand Jeté small business owner Ruthena Fink. “We are excited to have Lonnie and his love of community help guide the Association in a time when retailers are revitalizing their in-store and online experiences,” said MnRA staff president Bruce Nustad. “And we thank Ruthena for her inspired leadership throughout 2017.”

The Minnesota Retailers Association supports retailers to the benefit of their customers, their communities, their employees, and our state economy. Retail impacts one in five Minnesota jobs. Learn more at www.mnretail.org.

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