Retail has a great story to tell in Minnesota!

Articles in Category: MnRA News

Retailers Tell Us Capacity Increases Are Needed As Winter Hits & The Holidays Approach; One In Three Worry About Their Viability

Recently the Minnesota Retailers Association along with several local chambers of commerce surveyed retailers relating to the current COVID customer capacity restrictions in place across the State. Overwhelmingly retailers subject to the current 50 percent capacity restriction indicated a strong desire to move to at least 75 precent before the Thanksgiving holiday, with one in three retailers saying the viability of their business depends on an increase.

Retailers indicated such an increase is important as they have leveraged their businesses to invest in seasonal and holiday inventory. And after being closed to in-store customers and soft sales during the pandemic, the final few months of 2020 are a make-it or break-it sales season for many.

The vast majority of retailers report they feel prepared for more capacity and have the processes and systems in place to do so safely and comfortably for both customer and employees, and a capacity increase will result in the addition of seasonal and long term job opportunities for Minnesotans across the state at a critical time.

In addition, the survey showed retailers are proud of the job the industry has done during the pandemic and are aware this is not the year for large crowds, as can be typically seen on holiday traffic days such as the day after Thanksgiving. As such, many retailers are spreading sales out over a longer period and with continued alternative shopping options including curbside, delivery and shipping.

Retailers also told us the State has a role to play in partnership with retailers to continue to tell the story of how this industry is responding to the pandemic and the precautions taken to protect consumers and employees.

Ten Retail Leaders Recognized As Minnesota’s Retail Champions

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2020

Today’s Minnesota consumer is well-researched, cost-conscious and appreciative of shopping experiences and options. Join the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) as we recognize ten leading retailers and industry partners at the announcement of the 2020 Minnesota’s Retail Champions.

Winners accepted their awards virtually during Retail Rally on Wednesday, October 7. Retail Rally is changing the way retailers and their key business partners engage with today’s consumer. The event featured seven 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting edge retail innovations strategies and ideas.

“We are proud to recognize ten 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’s great about retail across the state, how the industry is changing, and what it takes to attract customers today.”

Watch the winner's video announcement here!

The following is a complete list of the 2020 Minnesota’s Retail Champion Award recipients:

Best Place to Work
Fitger’s on the Lake, Duluth, MN
Read more about this award!

Customer Experience
Past & Present Home Gallery, Alexandria, MN
Read more about this award!

Lifetime Achievement
Roberta Bonoff, Minnetonka, MN
Read more about this award!

Retailer of the Year
Schuler Shoes, Locations throughout MN
Read more about this award!

Retail Manager of the Year
Scott Farrell, Down in the Valley, Golden Valley, MN
Read more about this award!

Retail Innovation
Jaxon Grey, Minneapolis, MN
Read more about this award!

Business Resource of the Year
Boulay, Eden Prairie, MN
Read more about this award!

Vendor Partner of the Year
Minneapolis Mart, Minnetonka, MN
Read more about this award!

Retail Community of the Year
MetroNorth Chamber of Commerce, Blaine, MN
Read more about this award!

Advocate of the Year
Christine Ward, various locations in Minnesota
Read more about this award!

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

Roberta Bonoff Recognized With Lifetime Achievement Award

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2020

Roberta Bonoff Recognized With Lifetime Achievement Award

The Minnesota Retailers Association is pleased to recognize Roberta Bonoff with its Lifetime Achievement award in the 2020 Minnesota’s Retail Champions program.

“Roberta has been and continues to be an outstanding leader and advocate for Minnesota’s retail community,” says Bruce Nustad, Minnesota Retailers Association president. “Coupled with years and years as a successful retail entrepreneur, Roberta is one of the first retailers to raise her hand to volunteer to help someone else out. From sharing her experiences, to helping others along their path, Roberta is regarded as one of Minnesota most creative and innovative retailers. It’s with great admiration for Roberta that we present her with our Lifetime Outstanding Achievement award.”

2020LifetimeAchievement"Being a retail entrepreneur made me realize the importance of getting your unique story out to your community,” says Roberta Bonoff. “During my time as CEO of Creative KidStuff, my company gained national recognition by trying new things. I understand what it is like to start something from the ground up and watch it grow. And I appreciate the opportunity to help others do it as well.”

Roberta Bonoff will accept the award virtually as well as speak about her lessons learned from being a retail entrepreneur during the Retail Rally event on Wednesday, October 7, 2020, beginning at 2:00 p.m. The event features seven 20-minute practical, game-changing, cutting edge retail innovations strategies and ideas.

Roberta Bonoff is the sole recipient of the Minnesota’s Retail Champions Lifetime Achievement award. Nine other organizations will be recognized in other categories such as Retail Manager of the Year, Business Resource of the Year, Retail Innovation, Vendor Partner of the Year, Customer Experience, Best Place to Work, Retail Community of the Year, Advocate of the Year, and Retailer of the Year.

Retail Rally event information can be found at

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