October 8, 2018
MnRA To Name 10 Organizations As Minnesota's Retail Champions Tomorrow At Retail Rally!
The Minnesota Retailers Association (MnRA) is pleased to be recognizing ten organizations leading the way in attracting consumers with the announcement of the 2018 Minnesota’s Retail Champions.

Winners will accept their awards in person during the Retail Rally event on Tuesday, October 9, 2018, at the Doubletree Hotel in St. Louis Park (1500 Park Place Boulevard, St. Louis Park, MN 55416) beginning at 2:30 p.m. The event features a keynote speech by Amanda Brinkman, “Retail Lessons Learned While Revitalizing Main Streets Across America”. Brinkman is chief creator and host of the “Small Business Revolution - Main Street”—a critically acclaimed HULU series celebrating small businesses and revitalizing main streets across America, and chief brand and communications officer of Deluxe.

Last Call For Tuesday's Retail Rally: Check Out The Amazing Speaker Line Up!
Join us tomorrow for an all-star line up of speakers and topics including Retail Lessons Learned While Revitalizing Main Streets Across America by Amanda Brinkman!

In addition, 10 organizations will be recognized as Minnesota's Retail Champions , and we'll hear from experts in customer engagement and asset protection .
Save 30% on tickets using promo code "retailchampion" now!
Event Details:
Retail Rally: Where Innovative Retailers & Their Partners Gather , Learn and Celebrate
Doubletree Hotel - St. Louis Park
Tuesday, October 9, 2018
2:00-5:30 p.m.
Call (651) 227-6631 or register online now . $39/ticket less 30% when using promo code "retailchampion".

This event is open to members and invited guests.
September Retail Jobs Increase More Than 25,000 Over 2017
From the National Retail Federation, October 5, 2018

Retail industry employment in September increased by 25,600 jobs unadjusted over the same time last year despite a seasonally adjusted drop of 23,600 jobs from August, the National Retail Federation said today. The numbers exclude automobile dealers, gasoline stations and restaurants. Overall, U.S. businesses added 134,000 jobs over August, the Labor Department said.

"I think we can safely ignore the decline from August because that was largely the result of the aftermath of Hurricane Florence, which affected both the retail sector and leisure/hospitality” NRF Chief Economist Jack Kleinhenz said. “More importantly, we know we have a large number of unfilled retail jobs with a record level of openings in the industry.”

Retailers had 835,000 unfilled job openings as of July, Kleinhenz said.

September’s numbers followed a revised monthly gain of 8,900 jobs in August over July, which had originally been reported as a 9,700-job loss. The three-month moving average in September showed a loss of 5,000 jobs.

Economy-wide, average hourly earnings in September were up 8 cents over August and 73 cents from a year ago, a year-over-year increase of 2.8 percent. The Labor Department said the unemployment rate fell to 3.7 percent, its lowest level since December 1969.
St. Paul City Council Needs Another Month Before Revisiting Ban On Take-Out Containers
From the Pioneer Press, Frederick Melo, October 3, 2018

In St. Paul, a proposed citywide ban on traditional food take-out containers is still being tweaked.

On Nov. 7, the St. Paul City Council will revisit a proposal that would force St. Paul convenience stores and restaurants to ditch plastic foam take-out containers and replace them with compostable or recyclable materials.

Council Member Jane Prince requested the delay, noting that she wanted more time to discuss particulars with the mayor’s office and create a timeline for business outreach and implementation.

The council voted 5-2 against the proposal a year ago, noting that small businesses were already facing new mandates such as paid sick leave. At the time, council members said they would revisit the issue in October 2018.
China Tariffs Starting To Bite, But How Hard Not Yet Clear
From Minnesota Public Radio, Martin Moylan, October 3, 2018

Along St. Paul's Grand Avenue, the nation's trade war with China is starting to hit home.

At Treadle Yard Goods, owner Michele Hoaglund said that about half the bolts of fabric filling the pine shelves around her store come from China. And that fabric will be subject to the latest round of tariffs. Most vendors haven't said anything to her yet about tariff-inspired price hikes. But Hoaglund's starting to hear price hikes are on the way.

"One of our very good fashion vendors has informed us that any subsequent shipments will have a 10 percent increase and, after the first of the year, possibly 25," Hoaglund said.

Last week, the Trump administration imposed 10 percent tariffs on $200 billion worth of goods from China, and plans to hike the rate to 25 percent at year-end.

Hoaglund is contemplating how she'd deal with that. She hopes to avoid raising her prices but may be forced to.

"We can only stay in business if we can make money off of what we sell," she said. "We'll take it probably more on a case-by-case basis, depending on who the vendor is, and how much we get from them. And I may switch vendors so that something is not coming out of China."