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Articles in Category: MnRA News

Lisa B. Nelson Selected As Minnesota Retailers Association 2020 Board Chair

headshotLisa B. Nelson has been elected chair of the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA). In late January the Board of Directors met and selected Nelson to lead the organization representing 1,200 retail stores. The volunteer leadership role is for one year and encompasses leading a group of two dozen Board members from around Minnesota and a staff focused on growing Minnesota’s retail economy and jobs. 

Nelson, a Wisconsin native, is a University of Wisconsin alum and a National Guard veteran.  She is Director of Public Affairs for Walmart, Inc in the Upper Midwest where she works with elected officials in Minnesota, as well as in Wisconsin, Iowa and North Dakota.   Walmart operates 81 retail units in Minnesota, employs 21,640 associates and spends $8.3 billion with Minnesota suppliers, and is a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity.        

“I’m honored to be selected board chair and look forward to working with our board to grow our influence and membership,” Nelson said. “We will continue to advance a pro-business policy agenda that strengthens community retail in Minnesota.”   

Nelson succeeds small business owner Lonnie McQuirter with 36 Lyn Refuel Station, who chaired the Board for 2018 and a portion of 2019.

“As an organization we are happy to have Lisa and her lifelong commitment to service step into this leadership position. Lisa understands the importance of retail to each of our communities across Minnesota, and shares the Association’s desire to see retail lift up people and communities through opportunity,” said MnRA staff president Bruce Nustad. “And we thank Lonnie for his leadership, his love of community, his sense of humor and his focus on helping retailers thrive throughout his time as Board Chair.” 

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

Savannah Sepic
Minnesota Retailers Association 
400 Robert Street North, Suite 1540, St. Paul, MN  55101 
Tel. (651) 227-6631, e-mail This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Store Best Practices For Social Distancing: In-Store & Appointment

Store Best Practices For Social Distancing: In-Store & Appointment

Note: Click here for important re-open guidelines, samples, and templates!

Retailers across Minnesota are implementing impressive measures to make shopping as safe as possible for customers & employees.

Click here to access the State COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (safety plan) template.
Click here for Q&A and updates to the State COVID-19 Preparedness Plan (safety plan).

To assist retailers, here is a collection of social distancing best practices:

  • Use signage at the door, throughout the store, & over your public address system to remind customers of 6 foot social distancing.
  • Evaluate your space and adjust customer flow accordingly.
  • Encourage use of curbside pickup & delivery.
  • At checkout (including self-checkout) & in areas of congestion mark out social distance spacing.
  • At checkout extend space between the cashier & customer with markings or a physical barrier.
  • If practical ask a customer's permission to touch their products or allow a customer to position products during check out.
  • Have employees make a special effort to engage customers to help them find products efficiently & remind them to practice social distancing.
  • Clean & disinfect high-touch surfaces regularly and make hand sanitizer & related products available to customers and employees.
  • Communicate your temporary policy on reusable bags to customers before they arrive at the store or at the door.
  • Thank customers and workers for their focus on safety.

Just added!

SAFE Retail

Target is sharing it's lessons learned and best practices to assist other retailers as they open up. Click here to view Target's S.A.F.E. Retail framework, including examples, templates and checklists.

Click here to download a PDF of this flyer.

StoreBestPacticesCOVID 19

Share your best practices at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and visit for more information.

Eight Retail Leaders To Be Recognized As Minnesota’s Retail Champions

Minnesota's Retail Champions 2019

Today’s Minnesota consumer is well-researched, cost-conscious and appreciative of shopping experiences and options. Join the Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) as we recognizeeight leading retailers and industry partners at the announcement of the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champions.                                                                                                   

“We are proud to recognize eight 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.”

The following is a complete list of the 2019 Minnesota’s Retail Champion Award recipients:

Best Place to Work
Red Wing Shoe Company, Red Wing, MN and locations worldwide
Read more about this award!

Customer Experience
Wet Paint, St. Paul, MN
Read more about this award!

Outstanding Achievement
Glenn McKee, Games by James, locations throughout Minnesota and Wisconsin
Read more about this award!

Retailer of the Year
Hubert White, Minneapolis, MN
Read more about this award!

Retail Employee of the Year                                                                                                                                               
Kee Kong, Joe’s Sporting Goods, Little Canada, MN
Read more about this award!

Retail Innovation
Brainerd Lakes Chamber of Commerce, Brainerd, MN
Read more about this award!

Social Responsibility
Mall of America, Bloomington, MN
Read more about this award!

Vendor Partner of the Year
Branch, Minneapolis, MN
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

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