Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!

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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.

Wet Paint Recognized With Customer Experience Award

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2019

Wet Paint Recognized With Customer Experience Award

After reviewing dozens of applications from across the state, the Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Wet Paint with its Customer Experience award in the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“In an industry where there is intense instore and online competition, Wet Paint on Grand Avenue in St. Paul wins with is unique, welcoming environment and knowledgeable, committed staff,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “Wet Paint truly has something for everyone. Regardless of age or skill level, customers find the advice and products they need to be creative. Wet Paint has a great studio inside the retail store, where customers can learn new techniques and try products. While that is important, the key to the customer experience there is the employees. They are not only experienced in what they teach and sell, but it’s clear they care deeply about customer experience and the success of the business. It’s an honor to recognize Wet Paint and its team for their commitment to happy customers.”

“Wet Paint has been helping a wide range of customers since 1976. From students and their classes at school to hobbyists and people exploring art, to professional, we love them all and want to make sure this is their go-to store,” says Darin Rinne, Wet Paint co-owner along with Scott Fares. “Our customers know they are going to get the advice and help they need beginning the moment they step foot in the store. Our staff thrives in connecting with each and every customer, a relationship that last beyond the sale. We truly want to make the customer’s experience at Wet Paint one in which they immediately want to come back.”

Darin Rinne and Scott Fares will accept the award in person during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 2, 2019, at the 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.

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

Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Glenn McKee with Games by James Recognized With Outstanding Achievement Award

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2019

Glenn McKee with Games by James Recognized With Outstanding Achievement Award

The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Glenn McKee with Games by James with its Outstanding Achievement award in the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“Glenn has been an outstanding leader and advocate for the retail community for many years,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “As Glenn nears retirement and turns his successful stores over to his son, it’s the perfect time for the industry to congratulate him on so many accomplishments and thank his for his tireless service.  In addition to providing leadership to the Minnesota Retailers Association, Glenn has a passion for connecting with elected officials and telling the story of retail. He has been pivotal in fighting for sales tax fairness and against consumer-harming proposals such as the border adjustment tax. Glenn is a humble business owner that has provided hundreds of Minnesota’s their first work experience as well as retail career opportunities. It’s with great admiration for Glenn we present him with our Outstanding Achievement award.”

"It is so important to go tell your story to elected officials, regardless of what business you are in,” says Glenn McKee, owner of Games by James. “Letters, emails, and phone calls make a difference. But to really connect with lawmakers on important issues, face-to-face conversations are essential. From lobbying to employee development to helping customers, personal connections is how business gets done. It’s been a pleasure over the years to add my voice to the important issues impacting retailers in Minnesota. I look forward to seeing how the industry continues to change in the years ahead and I wish the Games by James team the best as they meet today’s opportunities and challenges head on. I am truly honored to be recognized by my peers.”   

Glenn McKee 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.

Glenn McKee is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions 2019 Outstanding Achievement award. Seven other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Employee of the Year, Social Responsibility, Retail Innovation, Customer Experience, Vendor Partner of the Year, Best Place to Work, and Retailers of the Year.

Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

Kee Kong with the Joe’s Sporting Goods Named Retail Employee of the Year

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2019

Kee Kong with the Joe’s Sporting Goods Named Retail Employee of the Year

After reviewing dozens of applications from across the state, the Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Kee Kong, Joe’s Sporting Goods, as our Retail Employee of the Year in the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“There are thousands and thousands of Minnesotans working in retail, so that makes selecting a Retail Employee of the Year difficult, except when it comes to Kee Kong,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “When interacting with Kee you can see his passion and love for what he does at Joe’s Sporting Goods. Customers are drawn to his positive attitude and helpful nature. His attitude is nothing short of contagious. Kee is a mentor, a teacher and a leader. In addition to running a department and interacting with customers in the store, he is instrumental in the retailer’s engaging social media interactions. We are not only pleased but honored to recognize Kee as the Retail Employee of the Year.”

“My favorite thing about working retail at Joe’s Sporting Goods is that I truly love what I do,” says Kee Kong. “I not only get to do what I am passionate about but I get to help and teach others where their passion lies. I love taking the time to get to know our customers and help them live their best dreams. I wake up every morning not viewing my job as work, but an opportunity to do what I enjoy best with the people I enjoy the most.”

Kee Kong 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.

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

Retail Rally event information can be found at www.retailrally.com.

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