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Three mainstreet Minnesota retailers recognized as “America’s Retail Champions” by the National Retail Federation

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Three mainstreet Minnesota retailers recognized as “America’s Retail Champions” by the National Retail Federation

July 28, 2022 - The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) is proud to announce the National Retail Federation (NRF) is honoring three Minnesota retailers as “America’s Retail Champions”. America’s Retail Champions is a program celebrating small retailers who are exceptional champions for retail and the communities they serve.

Only 33 retailers across the U.S. were selected as champions and are being recognized at NRF’s Retail Advocates Summit today.  A recognition dinner follows a day of meetings with Minnesota’s policymakers in Washington, D.C., discussing issues impacting retailers and “The Retail Experience”--an innovative demonstration of the impact of the retail industry.

Minnesota’s America’s Retail Champion Honorees:

Scott Farrell, Down in the Valley, www.downinthevalley.com (Golden Valley, Crystal, Maple Grove)

Farrell is the general manager of Down in the Valley, a retailer that has stood the test of time since 1972 and was recognized as Minnesota’s best record store by the Star Tribune in 2021. Farrell is a committed and demonstrated leader in his industry and among his peers, as well as a member of the MnRA Board of Directors. “Scott stepped up and was a leading voice on using state surplus dollars and federal funds to restore Minnesota’s unemployment trust fund to solvency this past year, avoiding a large cost increase on businesses at a critical time in our pandemic recovery,” says MnRA president Bruce Nustad. “In addition, Scott is a thought leader on product regulation and innovation. He and Down in the Valley are worthy of NRF’s America’s Retail Champion recognition.”

Lonnie McQuirter, 36 Lyn Refuel Station, www.36lyn.com (Minneapolis)

McQuirter is director of operations at 36 Lyn Refuel Station, an independent convenience store where people from all walks of life feel welcome, and many products are locally supplied. McQuirter is a past MnRA Board chair and a strong community supporter. “Lonnie represents everything great about Minnesota’s retail industry,” says Bruce Nustad. “He is one of the first people in a room to share his experiences and perspective that are always grounded in what is best for his customers, his employees, and his community. In addition, Lonnie truly brings people and organizations together making him an amazing advocate and leader, and an excellent choice for America’s Retail Champion.”

Christine Ward, Patina, www.patinastores.com (Minneapolis, Golden Valley, St. Paul, Woodbury, Eden Prairie, Roseville)

Ward co-owns Patina, a Minnesota retail treasure started in 1993 with an ever-changing array of products to match its vision to escape and inspire. Ward is a great employer with a knack for listening to her employees and customers. “Christine brought her voice forward during a critical pandemic moment to advocate for safe retailing during the most uncertain of times,” says Bruce

Nustad.  “She had a lead voice with elected officials and truly advocated for small businesses. Christine authored a letter that read like a manifesto for safely reopening retail.  That letter informed the conversations around opening retail for curbside and in-store business. Christine and Patina are excellent honorees as America’s Retail Champions.”

Please join us in congratulating Farrell, McQuirter and Ward as America’s Retail Champions honorees.

Learn more:

Minnesota Retailers Association - www.mnretail.org
National Retail Federation - www.nrf.com
America’s Retail Champions - www.nrf.com/retail-advocates-summit-2022/americas-retail-champions-2022
The Retail Experience – www.nrf.com/retailexperience

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.


Contact:
Savannah Sepic
Minnesota Retailers Association
380 St. Peter Street, Suite 1050, St. Paul, MN 55102 
Tel. (651) 227-6631, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Nine Retail Leaders To Be Recognized As Minnesota's Retail Champions

2021 Minnesota's Retail Champion Awards

Watch the 2021 Minnesota's Retail Champions video:
https://youtu.be/AHGH6qhDfK0

2021MNRetailChampionsPlay

 

Join the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) as we recognize nine leading retailers and industry partners at the announcement of the 2021 Minnesota’s Retail Champions.

Winners will accept their awards during the Retail Rally event (www.retailrally.com) on Tuesday, October 5, 2021, beginning at 2:00 p.m. in Golden Valley. Retail Rally is changing the way retailers and their key business partners engage with today's consumer. The event features six 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting-edge retail innovations strategies and ideas.

“We are proud to recognize nine 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 is 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 2021 Minnesota’s Retail Champion Award recipients:

Best Place to Work
Twin Town Guitars, Minneapolis, MN
Read about the award here.

Customer Commitment
Como Pharmacy, St. Paul, MN
Read about the award here.

Lifetime Achievement
Jeff Lindoo, Alexandria, MN
Read about the award here.

Retailer of the Year
AP Design, Marshall, MN
Read about the award here.

Retail Employee of the Year
Shelby Studanski, Frame Minnesota, Eagan, MN
Read about the award here.

Retail Innovation
The Paint Factory, Hutchinson, MN
Read about the award here.

Social Responsibility
Mackenthun’s Fine Foods, Waconia, MN
Read about the award here.

Advocate of the Year
Dave Baker, Willmar, MN
Read about the award here.

Retail Community of the Year
Winona & the Winona Area Chamber of Commerce, Winona, MN 
Read about the award here.             

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

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