May 14, 2018
Last Friday was Statehood Day in Minnesota--commemorating 160 years ago when we became the 32nd state of the United States. To mark the occasion, for the first and only day all year, the large chandelier in the State Capitol was lit all day.
Minnesota Retail Champions Nominations Open Through June 1
When innovative retailers and their partners gather, learn and celebrate at Retail Rally in October, we'll roll out the red carpet to recognize 10 Minnesota organizations and individuals for being champions of the industry.

Show your support for Minnesota's retail industry by nominating an employee, employer, business or vendor partner for one or more of these prestigious awards:

  •  Lifetime Achievement/Outstanding Achievement
  •  Vendor Partner of the Year
  •  Retailer of the Year
  •  Retail Community of the Year
  •  Retail Employee of the Year
  •  Social Responsibility
  •  Best Place To Work
  •  Retail Innovation
  •  Customer Experience
  •  Advocate of the Year

Nominations are open through June 1 and can be done at

Take a moment to nominate a Minnesota Retail Champion today!
Duluth Sick-Safe Leave: More Amendments Offered To Time-Off Ordinance
From the Duluth News Tribune, Peter Passi, May 12, 2018

An ordinance that would require employers in Duluth to provide workers with paid time off to deal with family illnesses or emergencies will be up for a second reading and a possible vote by the Duluth City Council Monday night.

But two amendments will be offered to the ordinance that night, as well, and if either of them is adopted, the new rules will have to wait until May 29 before the city councilors can vote whether to enact them.

The complicated ordinance has undergone a lot of surgery since it was first introduced in March. The changes to be proposed Monday will be the 17th and 18th amendments formally offered, to date.

At present, the ordinance would provide workers with one hour of earned sick or safe time off for every 40 hours of service, but 1st District Councilor Gary Anderson proposes to change that to one hour off for every 50 hours of time worked, explaining that accrual rate strikes him as more acceptable, reasonable and equitable to everyone.

Meanwhile, Council President Elissa Hansen will offer another amendment defining a seasonal employee as anyone who takes a job with the full knowledge that it will last for 120 days or less and stipulating that such an employee would not be entitled to paid time off under the policy.

The proposed ordinance would apply to employers with five or more workers if it is passed in its current form.
Court: Minneapolis Cannot Enforce Sick Leave Rules For Employers Outside City
From the Star Tribune , Adam Belz, May 11, 2018

A Hennepin District judge this week upheld the Minneapolis sick leave ordinance, but ruled that it cannot be enforced against employers based outside city limits.
The ordinance, passed by the City Council in 2016, required that companies outside Minneapolis track employees who work in the city and allow them to accrue sick leave if they meet a threshold of 80 hours of work per year — 90 minutes per week — in Minneapolis.
The Minnesota Chamber of Commerce, the state’s largest business association, sued the city in October 2016, aiming to halt the ordinance that was a signature accomplishment for former Mayor Betsy Hodges and the last term’s City Council.
Judge Mel I. Dickstein ruled that the benefit of the rule for employees based outside the city — a little over two hours of sick leave per year for a non-Minneapolis worker who meets the 80-hour minimum — “pales when weighed against the imposition of record keeping and administrative obligations incurred by companies located outside the city.”
The ordinance “casts its net too far,” Dickstein wrote, and the city is barred from enforcing it against any company or other employer based outside Minneapolis.
City Attorney Susan Segal said she plans to appeal that part of the ruling.
Dickstein upheld the ordinance within city limits, however, rejecting a claim from the Chamber that local workplace ordinances are pre-empted by state law.
Why Social Commerce Isn't #Trending Yet
From the Retail Dive, Cara Salpini , April 24, 2018

It was August 1, 2003: the country was still mourning the loss of the space shuttle Columbia, which had disintegrated upon re-entering Earth's atmosphere six months earlier and the Black Eyed Peas' "Where is the Love?" topped the radio charts.

What's the significance of August 1? A man by the name of Tom Anderson had just founded MySpace, which would grow to be the largest social networking site in the world in 2004. It would also largely change the way we use the internet, ensuring that cataloging and communicating with friends became one of the top uses of the web.

Now, social media is undergoing yet another transformation. As Gen Z, a group largely dependent on mobile, looms ever larger in the consumer space, retailers are increasingly trying to meet them where they are: on the social channels where they post photos, talk to their friends and follow their favorite influencers.

"What we've seen over the last several years is people bringing social photos into their product pages and making it a part of the traditional e-commerce experience," Kelly Davis-Felner, senior director of demand and retention marketing at Bazaarvoice, told Retail Dive. "So that came first. This 'going the opposite direction' — so that you're bringing the shopping experience into social — that's much more nascent."
Ben Stein Recreates Tariff Lesson From ‘Ferris Bueller’s Day Off’ In NRF Parody Ad Campaign
From the National Retail Federation, May 14, 2018

Ahead of public hearings this week before the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and the anticipated resumption of trade talks between the United States and China, the National Retail Federation today launched a television and digital ad campaign to educate Americans on how tariffs are bad economics. In the ad, economist and actor Ben Stein recreates a scene from the movie “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” in which he lectures students on the negative impact of tariffs on consumers and the economy.

A recent study by NRF and the Consumer Technology Association found that the administration’s proposed tariffs on $50 billion worth of Chinese goods would reduce U.S. gross domestic product by nearly $3 billion and destroy 134,000 American jobs. If tariffs were expanded to another $100 billion of Chinese imports as being considered plus additional retaliation by China, a total of 455,000 American jobs would be lost and GDP would decline by $49 billion. Another NRF and CTA study found that a television set made in China that costs American consumers $250 today would cost $308 after the tariffs are applied, an increase of 23 percent.