June 12, 2017

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Glenn McKee, owner of Games by James, with Devee McNally and Julie McAdam of Madesmart in front of the US Capital after paying visits to the offices of Congressman Jason Lewis, Congressman Erik Paulsen, Senator Amy Klobuchar, and Senator Al Franken to share their opposition to the Border Adjustment Tax.
RILA Celebrates Workforce Training Week   

From teh Retail Industry Leaders Association, June 12, 2017

" As the nation's largest private sector employer, the retail industry supports over 42 million American jobs from supply chain to store to the C-Suite. RILA members' commitment to training our American workforce is highlighted through the actions and investments they make, each and every day.   

As retail is one of the largest employment sectors of our economy, there is great responsibility not only to provide opportunities for employees at all levels but to also provide the tools and training needed to grow and innovate our workforce. From entry level to high-skilled positions, retailers offer upward mobility and a path towards success for millions of employees.  

Whether it is creating new programs that target at-risk youth or investing millions in workforce development and increased wages, we take pride in leading the way in career training, wage growth, workforce development, and innovation for employees of all backgrounds and skill levels.

As the economy continues to evolve and become more technologically advanced, investments in workforce training will be even more important. Like all competitive businesses, retailers want to attract, train and retain workers of all types to ensure competitiveness in an increasingly tech-focused and disruption-minded economy.  RILA members have and will continue to lead the way in creating forward-thinking development programs to ensure growth and opportunity for our workforce."

Local update   
How Much Do Minneapolis' Mayoral Candidates Care About About The Business Community?      
From Minnpost, Peter Callahan, June 7, 2017

"That the question had to be asked says something about the tone of the Minneapolis mayor's race so far.

"Are you seeking the support of business owners and leaders?" Star-Tribune business columnist Lee Schafer asked at a gathering of six mayoral hopefuls at a Tuesday candidate forum addressing business and economic issues held at the University of Minnesota's Humphrey School of Public Affairs.

Since the campaign is still in the DFL-endorsement-seeking phase, the campaign rhetoric up to now hasn't been exactly business friendly. So it was apt to wonder whether the candidates would accept - let alone seek  - business support, especially since the Minneapolis Chamber of Commerce was the event sponsor.

The answers from the seven candidates invited to the Humphrey School auditorium ranged from "yes," to "yes, but" with a single "no."

One of those "yes" responses came from incumbent Mayor Betsy Hodges. "The success and thriving of business in Minneapolis is one of the reasons that we're doing well, and it's one of the keys to the future as long as we make sure we're doing it the right way," she said."

Federal update   
Retailers Welcome Labor Department's Withdrawal of Burdensome Joint Employer Guidance             
From the National Retail Federation, June 7, 2107

"The National Retail Federation welcomed today's announcement from the Labor Department that it would withdraw burdensome guidance issued under the Obama Administration significantly broadening the definition of a joint employer and creating seemingly limitless liability in business to business relationships.

"Today's announcement from the Labor Department is an important first step in reversing one of the most onerous regulations imposed by the previous administration on businesses," NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay said. "Drastically expanding joint employer liability to hold one business responsible for the actions of another independent business, such as a subcontractor or franchisee, did nothing to protect employees and only created uncertainty that led to more growth-chilling litigation. Retailers hope Congress will build on this progress and put the issue to rest once and for all with clear, fair legislation defining joint employers." 

Guidelines released in January 2016 by the Labor Department's Wage and Hour Division set a broader definition of what could be considered a joint employer. Similarly, in an August 2015 ruling involving the waste management company Browning Ferris Industries and staffing agency Leadpoint Business Services, the National Labor Relations Board said a company could be considered a joint employer even if it had only indirect or unexercised control.

In a separate case, the NLRB said McDonald's could be considered a joint employer with its restaurant franchisees. Under guidelines followed for more than 30 years before the ruling, the NLRB held that a company had to have direct control over the actions of a subcontractor or franchisee's employees in order to be considered a joint employer."

The consumer   
High Turnover In Fashion Boosting Women's Apparel Sales          
From the Retail Dive, Daphne Holland, June 12, 2017

"High turnover in fashion boosting women's apparel sales

The speed of fashion retail these days is boosting apparel sales, especially among women's clothing purchased online, according to a recent report from Adobe's Digital Price Index.

Adobe researchers developed a new methodology to tease out longterm trends from May data that they say could help shed light on the monumental shifts in retail that are especially hitting apparel sales. Of the more than 7,000 new apparel products that appear online every day, nearly half (3,150) are aimed at women, while only 1,750 are geared toward men, with the rest children's, babies' and footwear. More than half of all online women's apparel purchases (56%) are items that have just hit the market in the previous three months, compared with 38.8% of spending on the newest men's items.

Revenue from sales of new apparel products, (on the market for a year or less), accounts for 80.5% of spending in the category - the largest share of spending among all categories that the DPI tracks, according to the report. Nearly one third (30.8%) of all spending on women's clothes goes towards products that are month old or less; for men's clothes it's 18%.

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Minnesota Retailers Associaiton
400 Robert Street North, suite 1540
St. Paul, MN 55101
Tel. (651) 227-6631 - mnretail.org - mnra@mnretail.org