February 24, 2020
Join Us For The We Want Beer Rally March 2
As consumer demand, manufacturer production, and the rest of the nation change, Minnesota finds itself as the last state selling 3.2% beer products. Yes, we are the very last as even Utah eliminated 3.2 beer in November. 
 
The reality is consumers are embracing and demanding innovative products while a segment of Minnesota retailers are stuck selling a dwindling supply of prohibition-era 3.2 beer!
 
MnRA is working with partners to help legislators understand the urgency of replacing 3.2 products in stores, which we will be highlighting at a March 2 (3/2) 3.2 beer rally at the State Capitol.  
 
Minnesotans and retailers are invited to join us at 10:00 a.m. for a "We Want Beer" rally, inspired by the movement in 1933 to end prohibition that resulted in 3.2 beer.
 
Help us as we ask legislators to change our century-old liquor laws to catch up to the choices and convenience demanded by Minnesota consumers!
 
How Will Consumers Spend Their Tax Refunds?
From the National Retail Federation, February 18, 2020

About 58% of US consumers plan to file their tax returns before the end of February and 65% of taxpayers expect to receive a refund this year, a survey from NRF and Prosper Insights & Analytics shows. Half plan to bank at least some of their refunds, 10% aim to make major purchases and 9% will splurge.
Register For Retail Day At The Capitol March 10
Two great ways to participate in Retail Day At The Capitol:

  1. Breakfast with legislative leaders, 8:30 - 9:30 a.m.
  2. Breakfast + comfortable, prearranged meetings with your specific legislators, 8:30 -12:30 p.m.

Four good reasons to attend:
  1. Get the latest on the happenings at the State Capitol impacting retailers.
  2. It's all on the Capitol grounds--no moving your car or taking a shuttle!
  3. No cost to attend, thanks to our sponsors.
  4. This event is a solid opportunity to connect with Minnesota's innovative retailers and learn about the Minnesota Retailers Association!

Click here to register, or contact us at (651) 227-6631 to learn more! Please RSVP your spot by March 1.
Rosedale Center To Launch 10-Day Social Influencer ShareSpace
From the Star Tribune, Nicole Norfleet, February 19, 2020

Rosedale Center has found a new use for vacant store space — a pop-up for social influencers. Inspired by the popular collective of TikTok stars that formed the Hype House in Los Angeles, ShareSpace will be a 10-day creative space to offer influencers, aspiring internet marketers and shoppers a chance to connect and collaborate in the former J. Crew retail store that closed last month at the mall.

ShareSpace will be run by Twin Cities influencer and content strategist Sarah Edwards, who plans to offer an array of marketing strategy sessions such as panel discussions on “using your platform for good” and the legal implications of being a social influencer as well as interactive experiences with local brands such as Prairie Organic Spirits.

“When we say ShareSpace, it’s sharing ideas, sharing connections, sharing community, sharing resources, sharing a little bit of everything and creating a space where everyone feels like they can come in and they leave feeling a little more inspired,” Edwards said.

The space will be the newest offering of Edwards’ rebranded creative-marketing agency Some Great People. Edwards, who has 15,000 followers on Instagram, has consulted with Rosedale Center leaders in the past as the shopping mall has experimented with retail concepts. She has also helped with brand activation and marketing for other clients such as ergonomic company Ergotron and dating app Bumble.

“Sometimes the word influencer gets a bad rap because I think sometimes unfortunately the Kardashians have ruined that word,” Edwards said. “When I think of influence, I think of people actually influencing communities, growing communities, building these cool events and attracting people with their authenticity and voice.”
US Retailers Face Challenges In Shifting Supply Chain Over Coronavirus
From Newsweek, Jenni Fink, February 20, 2020

Fashion companies are already pulling away from China because of trade wars and tariffs, and experts predict the new coronavirus will be yet another reason for companies to cut some ties with the manufacturing hub.

"I do think there's an opportunity for certain businesses and industries to break free from China," Sean Maharaj, managing director of AArete, a global management consultancy, told Newsweek.

Chinese authorities shuttered factories in January to prevent the spread of COVID-19, which has infected 74,000 people in that nation. Workers have slowly started to return to work, but travel restrictions keep factories and manufacturers from operating at full capacity. Meanwhile, a growing list of companies—including Under Armour and Apple—have announced they expect disruptions in their supply chains.

"I don't consider most companies or myself smarter than Apple, and they didn't plan for this," said Edward Hertzman, founder and president of Sourcing Journal. "This is showing everyone if you're heavily reliant on one country, it's very dangerous."Since then, the tide has turned and indies are on the rebound. The reasons why are detailed below.
Why Trying To Spend Minnesota’s Budget Surplus Is Proving Irresistible To Legislators
From Minnpost, Peter Callaghan, February 21, 2020

After rolling out his capital project budget request last month, Gov. Tim Walz sent a message to lawmakers about the other budget the Legislature will deal with in 2020, the supplemental budget that offers a chance to tweak the state’s big, two-year budget adopted last May:

“I’ve been clear to our state agencies who have needs,” the DFL governor said. “Set your expectations pretty low on a supplemental budget because from a fiscally responsible level, I think that needs to be a relatively low one.”

So far, it doesn’t appear many lawmakers are listening. DFLers in the Legislature have proposed $800 million or more in new spending while GOP members have introduced a billion dollar tax cut plan.

So how big — or small — might a supplemental spending plan be?

Since nobody in either chamber or party is going to propose a tax increase in an election year, the range of any supplements to the state’s current $48.5 billion budget is defined by the $1.33 billion surplus. But even that number is constrained by Walz’s stated desire to pay back a loan of sorts that was used to reach the 2019 budget deal. To make the numbers work, the state committed $491 million from the state’s rainy day fund to assure that the two-year budget stays in balance.

What’s more, Walz’s proposed capital spending plan of $2.6 billion will require an additional $180 million in principal and interest payments. That wouldn’t reduce the $1.33 billion surplus this year, but any new spending that has an ongoing impact certainly would. For instance, a complete elimination of the state income tax on social security benefits — which Senate Republicans proposed Thursday — would cost $435 million next year but have a $960 million impact on the next biennium.

That’s why most of the discussion at the Legislature has been about using the surplus to make one-time expenditures — or at least to make to make any ongoing expenditures sound like they’re one-time expenditures.