Solid 2012 Forecasts
Friends of Retail
Michigan retail sales and forecasts stalled in June but continue to show improvement over last year. Page 3
MRA designated more than 90 legislative candidates as a “Friend of Retail” prior to the August 7 primary elections. Page 4
It’s no secret why Golden Shoes remains a successful retailer in Traverse City’s thriving downtown. Page 5
® August 2012 Vol. 37 No. 4
Negen’s next ‘camp’ planned for Oct. 4 in downtown Lansing
Thumbs up Doug Mitchell, owner/artist of UniQ Jewelry in Three Rivers, gave the boot camp “two thumbs up” and said it was beneficial to retailers large and small. “Negen had awesome ideas, strategically proven winning concepts that work for [everyone from] small, oneman-shows to large organizations,” said Mitchell. Continued on page 10
MRA urges treasurer to tax Amazon Michigan Retailers Association has opened a third front in the campaign for Main Street Fairness, by urging State Treasurer Andy Dillon to require Amazon.com to begin collecting and remitting sales tax
on merchandise sold to Michigan residents. “Other states have compelled Amazon to start paying taxes, and Michigan must do the same,” MRA President and CEO James P. Hallan wrote in a July 16
36 scholarships awarded for upcoming school year Scholarship Winners
The response to retail trainer Bob Negen’s one-day “Retail Boot Camp” in Kalamazoo was so positive that Michigan Retailers Association is teaming up with the entertaining “drill sergeant” to hold more regional boot camps across the state. The next one will be held on Thursday, October 4, in downtown Lansing. More will be scheduled in the new year. “It was great! That was the best $39 I have ever spent,” said Matt Rhodes, owner of Dusty’s Cellar restaurants, bakery and gourmet food store in Okemos. “You offered a great value to your members by subsidizing the event and only charging what you did.” Jan Haglund, of Janny’s Beach House in South Haven, said Negen lifted not only her spirit but her sales. “I left the seminar feeling pumped up and motivated to start implementing his ideas immediately, and that’s exactly what I did,” she said. “Our sales have gone up 25 percent since attending, and we’ve collected more emails than we ever have before… “Bob is a great motivational speaker, but he also understands what needs to be done in a small business to make it successful.”
The official publication of the Michigan Retailers Association
Thirty-six students will head to college this fall with a total of $33,000 in financial assistance from the Michigan Retailers Association. Each scholarship is funded by the Michigan Retailers Foundation, a nonprofit educational organization established by MRA to benefit MRA members and their employees and families. Thirty students will receive $1,000 for one year at a public or private college or university and six will receive $500 for one year at a community college. In the scholarship program’s 14year history, $331,000 has been
letter to the treasurer. “Amazon has avoided collecting taxes on its Michigan sales for years. That harms Michigan’s economy, is unfair to Michigan-based jobs providers and must stop.” MRA and the Alliance for Main Street Fairness have been pushing hard for a level playing field for in-state businesses against out-ofstate, online-only merchants on two other fronts since last year. Legislation has been introduced in both the Michigan Legislature and Congress to close the legal loophole that enables businesses
to avoid collecting sales tax in states where they do not have a physical presence. Amazon should have been collecting Michigan sales tax since 2007, when it established a physical presence in the state by acquiring Brilliance Audio, a Grand Havenbased producer of audio books, according to MRA. awarded in 356 scholarships to students who are employees or the children of owners or employees of MRA-member businesses. “The Board of Directors’ strong commitment to the scholarship program drives its success,” said MRA President and CEO James P. Hallan. “Each year the program helps dozens of students and their families afford a college education while providing an opportunity for contributors to give something back to their industry and add to their legacy of good works. It’s a valuable, added benefit of membership in MRA.” MRA’s scholarship program is managed by International Scholarship and Tuition Services, Inc., in Nashville, Tennessee. An independent panel of educators selects the recipients based on above-average academic achievement and extracurricular involvement. Financial
Evidence There is no doubt Brilliance Audio is tied directly to Amazon and constitutes a physical presence for Amazon, Hallan wrote. The evidence includes: Amazon lists on its corporate website that Brilliance Audio is its wholly owned subsidiary; a Dun & Bradstreet report on Brilliance Audio shows that it is a wholly owned subsidiary of Amazon; Amazon’s corporate address in Seattle, Washington, is listed as the address for all of Brilliance Audio’s officers and directors, according to Brilliance Audio’s corporate filings in Michigan. Dillon had not responded to the letter as of press time, although his spokesman told news reporters the department doesn’t consider that wholly owned subsidiaries establish a physical presence for their parent company.
Continued on page 6
Continued on page 7
Friends of retail
Board of Directors: Barb Stein
Chair Great Northern Trading Co., Rockford
by James P. Hallan, MRA President and Chief Executive Officer At retailers.com for the past several weeks and on Page 4 of this issue you’ll find a list of the nearly 100 candidates for the Michigan House of Representatives who earned the designation “Friend of Retail” in the August 7 primaries. What is a Friend of Retail? In the political world, a friend is someone whose views line up alongside Michigan Retailers’ positions on issues that are important to the retail industry. These are issues such as business taxes and regulation, Main Street Fairness, expansion of the bottle deposit law and more. The candidates made known their
stance on a dozen key retail climate issues by participating in a written survey MRA put together and submitted to all of the candidates. Better yet, some of the incumbents already have demonstrated their support for the retail industry by going above and beyond to provide leadership under the Capitol dome. They have sponsored pro-retail legislation or taken a leadership role on such major issues as last year’s reform of item pricing and repeal of the Michigan Business Tax and this year’s refusal to allow the Department of Treasury to expand the state’s bottle deposit law on its own.
Court affirms health law; here’s what comes next This article was provided by MDA Insurance, a subsidiary of the Michigan Dental Association and Michigan Retailers Association’s partner in providing health care insurance to MRA members. First of two parts. On June 28, after much anticipation and speculation, the U.S. Supreme Court essentially upheld the Patient Protection Affordable Care Act (PPACA) as constitutional. Unless the law is repealed by Congress, it is the law of the land, leaving everyone asking: So now what? Because the Court upheld the law, employers and health plan sponsors must continue to comply with its reforms. First and foremost, changes that have already been implemented will remain in effect. These include: • Extending coverage to children until age 26 • No denial of coverage or coverage exclusions for children under 19 • No rescissions of coverage for health-related reasons • No lifetime limits • Restricted annual limits until 2014 • Elimination of cost sharing for preventive services. Second, provisions that are not currently in effect will continue to be implemented as planned. While it is possible that changes will be made to the law through future legislation or court rulings, PPACA is the health care reform law currently in effect. Thus, employers should continue to prepare for PPACA-required changes that become effective this year and in 2013. Employers should also keep
in mind the reforms scheduled to take place in 2014. What employers must do There’s a fairly short list of things employers need to do to comply with health care reform this year and early next year. Here’s your checklist: • Issue a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (SBC): Plan participants and beneficiaries must be given a summary on the first day of the first open enrollment period that begins on or after September 23, 2012. If a participant enrolls in the health plan outside of the open enrollment window (new hires, newly eligible), the summary must be provided on the first day of the first plan year that begins on or after September 23, 2012. For most groups, the requirement will become effective January 1, 2013. The summary must conform to federal guidelines, be no more than four double-sided pages long, and provide simple and consistent information about health plan benefits and coverage in simple language. Plans and issuers must provide 60 days notice of any material modifications to the plans that are not related to renewals; for example, changing the prescription co-pay during the plan year. MDA Insurance is working with its carrier to ensure the required sumContinued on page 8
Those who have acted received not only a friend designation but also an official endorsement in the primary. The friends list is new for Michigan Retailers. It reflects the efforts of our reorganized and beefed-up government affairs unit, actions that have already paid dividends for our industry. Researching and compiling a friends list is a good way to communicate to members in quick fashion where the dozens of candidates stand in relation to Michigan Retailers. We know how important it is for members to know where the candidates stand. We also know how important it is for members to act on that knowledge in the voting booth. Look for an updated list and endorsements prior to the November 6 election as well. Not incidentally, a friend designation is valuable, but campaign contributions are even more welcomed by the candidates. If you are so inclined and able, please write that personal check for $25, $50 or $100 to MRA PAC so that we can compete on a more level playing field with better-funded groups that oppose our issues. Thanks for your consideration. Switching subjects to a late-summer Pure Michigan note, it’s my pleasure to welcome 150 retail association officials from across the nation to Mackinac Island this month for the group’s annual meeting and conference. I have the privilege of serving as chair of the Council of State Retail Associations (CSRA) and have been looking forward to showcasing our state at its summer best to my colleagues in the other states. I can’t wait to see their jaws drop and eyes bulge as they look out from the island and see the vast stretches of blue water and sky in all directions – especially in this summer of national heat and drought. Even those who have been to Mackinac before will be struck again by the magnificence of Michigan – as well as charmed by the hospitality of the 125-year-old Grand Hotel. My prediction: most of them will come back in the near future for a personal vacation, and visit other parts of our beautiful state, further b o o s t i n g M i c h i g a n ’s c l i m b i n g tourism numbers.
James P. Hallan
President and CEO Michigan Retailers Association
Vice Chair Ideation, Ann Arbor
Peter R. Sobelton Treasurer Birmingham
Secretary Michigan Retailers Association
Joe Swanson Past Chair Target Corp.
Becky Beauchine Kulka
Becky Beauchine Kulka Diamonds and Fine Jewelry, Okemos
Marshall Music Company, Lansing
Orin Mazzoni, Jr.
Orin Jewelers, Garden City
Credit Card Group
Brandon Tire & Battery, Ortonville
R.D. (Dan) Musser III
Grand Hotel, Mackinac Island
John Smythe Lansing
Meijer, Inc., Grand Rapids
D. Larry Sherman
Board Member Emeritus
Michigan Retailers Services, Inc. Board of Directors: Bo Brines Little Forks Outfitters, Midland
Brian Ducharme AT&T
Lisa McCalpine-Wittenmyer Walgreens
James P. Hallan Thomas B. Scott Publisher
Publication Office: 603 South Washington Avenue Lansing, MI 48933 517.372.5656 or 800.366.3699 Fax: 517.372.1303 www.retailers.com www.retailersmutual.com
Michigan Retailer (USPS 345-780, ISSN 0889-0439) is published in February, April, June, August, October and December for $20 per year by Michigan Retailers Association, 603 South Washington Ave., Lansing, MI 48933. Subscription fees are automatically included in the Michigan Retailers Asociation membership dues. Periodical postage paid at Lansing, Michigan. POSTMASTER: Send address changes to 603 South Washington Ave., Lansing, MI 48933. The Michigan Retailer may be recycled with other white office paper.
MICHIGAN RETAIL INDEX
Retail sales, forecasts slip but remain positive Index values above 50 generally indicate positive activity; the higher the number, the stronger the activity. Looking forward, 58 percent of retailers expect sales during July-September to increase over the same period last year, while 17 percent project a decrease and 25 percent no change. That puts the seasonally adjusted outlook index at 71.9, down from 77.5 in June. A year ago June it was 63.7.
For the important back-to-school sales period, 53 percent of retailers said they expect flat sales compared to last year, while 31 percent expect improved sales. Northern Michigan retailers led the state in June with 65 percent of the regional group reporting sales increases over June 2011. Gifts stores and apparel stores throughout the state rang up the best numbers among the various trade lines.
Michigan sales tax receipts totaled $576.3 million in June, down from $597 million a year ago.
Complete results of this month’s Michigan Retail Index—including data on sales, inventory, prices, promotions and hiring—are available at www. retailers.com/mra/news/michiganretail-index.html. The website includes figures dating back to July 1994.
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Michigan retail sales and forecasts stalled in June but continued to show improvement over last year, according to the Michigan Retail Index, a joint project of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA) and the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago. “The performance of Michigan’s retail industry slipped from May to June, catching up to a national trend that began two months earlier,” said Tom Scott, MRA senior vice president communications and marketing. “However, we are still seeing year-to-year growth, which provides a broader picture of where we are.” Michigan’s unemployment rate rose in May and June, contributing to the falloff in retail sales performance in June, Scott said. The June Michigan Retail Index found that 50 percent of retailers increased sales over the same month last year, while 33 percent recorded declines and 17 percent saw no change. The results create a seasonally adjusted performance index of 58.6, down from 61.9 in May. A year ago June it was 52.1. The Index gauges the performance of the state’s overall retail industry, based on monthly surveys conducted by MRA and the Federal Reserve.
Seasonally adjusted diffusion index, calculated by adding the percent of respondents indicating increased sales and half the percent indicating no change, and then seasonally adjusting the result using the U.S. Census Bureau’s X-11 Seasonal Adjustment procedure. Index values above 50 generally indicate an increase in activity, while values below 50 indicate a decrease.
Be sure to complete your online survey each month!
Legislative candidates named Friend of Retail Michigan Retailers Association endorsed seven candidates and designated 90 others as a “Friend of Retail” prior to the August 7 primary elections for the Michigan House of Representatives. The seven endorsed candidates have gone “above and beyond” by taking leadership roles on key retail issues such as the successful Shopping Reform and Modernization Act of 2011 and the current campaign for Main Street Fairness, according to William J. Hallan, MRA vice president government affairs and general counsel. A n o t h e r 9 0 c a n d i d a t e s w e re named a Friend of Retail by demonstrating an understanding of the retail industry’s priorities and a willingness to work toward solutions, Hallan said. All of the candidates running for state representative were invited to answer a retail issues questionnaire sent by MRA last month. “Michigan Retailers Association looks forward to working with many of these candidates in the fall and in the legislature next year in our continuing efforts to promote, protect, and grow the retail industry here in Michigan,” he said. The following candidates, listed by district, received endorsements: 44. Eileen Kowall (R-White Lake) 49. Jim Ananich (D-Flint) 74. Rob VerHeulen (R-Walker) 86. Lisa Posthumus Lyons (R-Alto) 90. Joe Haveman (R-Holland) 98. Jim Stamas (R-Midland) 104. Wayne Schmidt (R-Traverse City). The following 90 candidates, listed by district, were designated as a Friend of Retail: 1. Valerie Kindle (D-Harper Woods) 2. Tim Bledsoe (D-Grosse Pointe) & Daniel Grano (R-Grosse Pointe Park) 6. Maureen Stapleton (D-Detroit) 10. Phil Cavanaugh (D-Redford Twp) 11. Cody Bailey (D-Garden City) 13. Andrew Kandrevas (D-Southgate) 15. Priscilla Parness (R-Dearborn) 17. Anne Rossio (R-Carleton) 19. John Walsh (R-Livonia) 20. Kurt Heise (R-Plymouth) 21. Kiz Ahamiojie (D-Bellevue) 22. Harold Haugh (D-Roseville) 23. Pat Somerville (R-New Boston) 24. Anthony Forlini (R-Harrison Twp) & Carey Torrice (D-Fraser) 25. Henry Yanez (D-Sterling Heights) & Sean Clark (R-Warren) 26. Jim Townsend (D-Royal Oak) 28. Lesia Liss (D-Warren) 30. Jeff Farrington (R-Utica) & Nick Najjar (D-Sterling Heights) 31. Lynn Evans (R-Fraser)
32. Andrea LaFontaine (R-Clinton Twp) 35. Charles Roddis (D-Lathrup Village) 37. Bruce Lilley (R-Farmington) 38. Hugh Crawford (R-Novi) 39. Brad Hantler (R-West Bloomfield) & Bubba Urdan (R-W. Bloomfield) 40. Mike McCready (R-Birmingham) & Robert Lawrence (R-Birmingham) 42. Bill Rogers (R-Brighton) & Dale Rogers (R-Hamburg) 43. Gail Haines (R-Lake Angelus) 46. Bradford Jacobsen (R-Oxford) 47. Cindy Denby (R-Fowlerville) 51. Joseph Graves (R-Linden) 52. Mark Ouimet (R-Ann Arbor) 56. Dale Zorn (R-Ida) & Joe Astro (D-Dundee) 58. Kenneth Kurtz (R-Coldwater) 59. Matt Lori (R-Constantine) 61. Margaret O’Brien (R-Portage) 62. Mark Behnke (R-Battle Creek) 63. Jase Bolger (R-Marshall)
64. Earl Poleski (R-Jackson) 65. Mike Shirkey (R-Clarklake) 67. Ashley Kring (R-Williamston) & Jeff Oesterle (R-Mason) 68. Andy Schor (D-Lansing) & Michael Wing (R-Lansing) 70. Rick Outman (R-Six Lakes) & Mike Huckleberry (D-Greenville) 71. Deb Shaughnessy (R-Charlotte) & Andrea Cascarilla (D-Lansing) 72. Ken Yonker (R-Caledonia) 73. Peter MacGregor (R-Rockford) 75. Andrew Garlick (D-Grand Rapids) 77. Tom Hooker (R-Byron Center) 78. Dave Pagel (R-Berrien Springs) 79. Al Pscholka (R-Stevensville) 80. Bob Genetski (R-Saugatuck) 81. Dan Lauwers (R-Brockway) & Jason Davis (D-Clay Township) 82. Kevin Daley (R-Lum) 83. Paul Muxlow (R-Brown City), Bob Eick (R-Fort Gratiot), & Carol Campbell (D-Lexington)
84. Kurt Damrow (R-Elkton) & Sami Khoury R-Sebewaing) 87. Mike Callton (R-Nashville) 88. Roger Victory (R-Hudsonville) 89. Amanda Price (R-Holland) 91. Holly Hughes (R-Montague) & Collene Lamonte (D-Muskegon) 93. Tom Leonard (R-Lansing) & Michael Trebesh (R-Saint Johns) 94. Ann Doyle (R-Freeland) & Tim Kelly (R-Saginaw) 97. Joel Johnson (R-Clare) 99. Kevin Cotter (R-Mt. Pleasant) 100. Jon Bumstead (R-Newaygo) 102. Brendan Maturen (D-Stanwood) 103. Bruce Rendon (R-Lake City) 105. Greg MacMaster (R-Kewadin) 106. Peter Pettalia (R-Presque Isle) 107. Frank Foster (R-Petoskey) 108. Ed McBroom (R-Vulcan) & Judy Nerat (D-Wallace) 110. Matt Huuki (R-Atlantic Mine).
Proposals crowd November ballot Michigan’s November 6 ballot looks like it’s going to be crowded, with the addition of six proposed constitutional amendments and one legislative referendum. In addition to the presidential and legislative elections, voters will face the most proposals since 1982, when seven also appeared on the ballot. At press time the proposals had not yet been officially approved to appear on the ballot, but the organizations behind each initiative had submitted the required number of signatures to the Bureau of Elections. The Bureau is reviewing the documents for accuracy before certifying them. With each organization turning in extra signatures, it is likely the following proposals will go to voters. Proposed Referendum Emergency Manager Law A referendum to repeal Public Act 4 of 2011, known as the Emergency Manager law, will appear. The 2011 law gave emergency managers greater powers to dissolve contracts and suspend elected officials’ power when handling a financial emergency in a public school district or a unit of local government. Emergency managers have already been appointed in the following places:
Benton Harbor, Ecorse, Flint, and Pontiac as well as in Detroit Public Schools, Highland Park Schools and the Muskegon Heights School District. The City of Allen Park is undergoing a financial review, a step that could lead to the appointment of an emergency manager. Whether this referendum would actually appear on the ballot was uncertain until the Michigan Supreme Court weighed in on whether the correct font size was used on the heading of the petition to repeal the law. The Supreme Court ruled, after hearing oral arguments on July 25 that the measure will go to voters. The current law will be suspended pending the outcome of the vote. Proposed Constitutional Amendments “25 by 25” This would require utilities to obtain at least 25 percent of their electricity from clean renewable energy sources by 2025. A 2008 law required that at least 10 percent of Michigan’s energy sold be produced from renewable sources by 2015. This proposal would raise that requirement an additional 15 percent over 10 years. Utility companies have indicated they
do not believe the resources exist to meet this new standard. Recent estimates put the cost of a “25 by 25” standard at $10 billion or more, depending on which renewable sources are used. Retailers should expect higher energy bills in the future if this amendment is adopted in November, because renewable energy is significantly more expensive. Right to Collective Bargaining This would create a new right to collective bargaining. If the amendment is approved, it could invalidate as many as 80 laws that were passed during the 2011-2012 legislative term. MRA believes that employers should be able to make decisions about collective bargaining with employees. Retailers should also be concerned over the impact of overturning these laws – many of which were designed to help control skyrocketing costs and liabilities for local governments and schools. If cost controlling measures are removed, taxes may be increased on residents, property and businesses. Michigan Quality Home Care Council This would establish the Michigan Continued on page 9
‘Secret of success’ no secret for Traverse shoe store
by Doug Henzie
don’t get that a lot of times where they’re from. community,” Golden said of his success. “You In the Internet era, as any retailer will tell you, You’re only a number in a lot of places.” have to give back.” no one with a computer has to leave the living What begins as a business transaction The Goldens, who run the store with the help room to buy a pair of shoes. sometimes evolves into a deeper relationship, of 10 employees – including brother Jocko and But Bill Golden continues to see a steady Golden said. sister Elizabeth – also benefit from state and lostream of foot traffic through the Traverse City “I have become very good friends with cuscal tourism efforts. The cherry festival, winery shoe store his family has owned and operated tomers now who aren’t even from the area,” tours and even “destination weddings” bring for nearly 60 years. In fact, Golden Shoes is on he said. “I’ve been to their homes. They’ve Golden Shoes business. pace to snap the sales record it set last year – at been to my home. That’s why I still enjoy bea time when Michigan’s economy is only moving Pure Michigan ahead slowly. The state’s Pure Michigan “This year, sales are up over Golden Shoes - Traverse City campaign also has been a 20 percent from last year,” said L to R: Bill Golden, Elizabeth Golden, Jocko Golden, Craig Golden blessing for the store and othGolden, co-president of the comer Traverse City merchants, pany he runs with his brother Golden said. Craig. “And last year was our “Pure Michigan – I hear it best year ever.” every day from customers, The secret, he says, is really no because I like to know where secret at all – it’s simply taking people are from,” he said. care of the customer. Shoe shoppers from Sacra“You really need to go out of mento, California, recently your way for every customer told Golden they chose to take because product is so available a trip to Michigan simply be– through your phone, your comcause of the campaign. puter,” Golden said. “They can It’s helped an already boomget product everywhere, but can ing business district. they get customer service?” “Downtown Traverse City is thriving,” Golden said. “EveryFamily business body wants to be here. When It’s a philosophy Golden, 49, you come to Traverse City, learned growing up in the family as they say, there are no bad business, where he began workdays.” ing at age 14. He joined the store Golden is enthusiastic full time in 1981, after a brief pit ing out front.” enough about his location that he’d like to stop working in the cherry orchards. Bill Golden spends much of his time doing expand, just as the store did in 1968 when it Craig Golden, 62, who now spends winters in the company books, while Craig orders all the enveloped a former Singer sewing machine Arizona, has worked at the store since 1969. product. store to form its current, 4,000-square-foot By the time the Golden brothers joined the space. Golden, who now also sells bags, socks business, the family name was long established Community involvement and wool clothing, hopes to expand his accesin Traverse City. Their father, Willard, and grandTo connect with his Traverse City customsory lines. father, Nat, had operated the store since 1954, ers, Golden makes sure his reach extends The trick, he says, will be talking one of his when they bought it from the Friedrich family. far beyond the walls of the shoe store. He’s neighbors into giving up current space. That family had sold shoes from that location a sponsor of his community’s “I would never leave this location, but I’d love since 1883. National Cherry Festival, is on to have one of the stores on either side of me to Nat Golden stepped away the city’s Downtown Developmake this business bigger,” he said. from the shoe business in 1962, ment Authority board and is a W. Bruce Rogers, a former Michigan Reopening the Golden-Fowler furmember of the local Chamber tailers Association board chairman and niture store, which still operates of Commerce. Golden also has longtime Traverse City retailer, calls Golden today, under the same name but been a strong supporter of Shoes “the epitome of a small-town retailer a different owner. Willard GoldMichigan Retailsurviving and excelling against malls and en, though long ers Association big-box stores.” retired, remained and is slated to “Per square foot, they probably do better the majority join the Michithan anybody in the Midwest,” he said. “They’re shareholder in gan Retailers really good.” the shoe busiSer vices, Inc. The store caters to children – but also to peoness until his Board of Direcple in their 80s and everyone in between – with death this past tors in late August. a personal touch, Rogers said. June. Through a promotion with the Toms Shoes “They’re not a chain – they’re there every While the business was built on local custombrand, he gives $3 to the Father Fred Founday,” he said. “That makes a difference. They ers and the tourism trade that pours in each dation, a local charity, for each pair of those know their customers by name.” summer, the Golden family is also growing it shoes he sells. And every year for the past For downtown Traverse City, they’re an anchor. now through the same technology that’s chaldozen years, he and local businessman Don “You get a retailer that generates that kind lenging local retailers. A combination of social Schmuckal have donated about 800 pairs of of volume, it’s huge,” Rogers said. “They’re a media and website promotion brings in cusboots, along with hats, mittens, socks, toothcornerstone.” tomers from other markets, particularly from brushes and toothpaste, to children in need Grand Rapids. at five local schools. Doug Henzie is a freelance writer and former “They say we’re so good at talking to them “The biggest thing is to be involved in the business reporter for the Oakland Press in Pontiac. and explaining the product,” Golden said. “They
“The biggest thing is to be involved in the community. You have to give back.”
36 scholarships awarded for upcoming school year Continued from page 1
need is not a consideration. The following students will receive scholarships for the 2012-13 academic year from the Michigan Retailers Association:
Kyle DeGraaf, of Hudsonville, an employee at H.L. Bolkema Decorating in Wyoming. He is a graduate of Unity Christian High School in Hudsonville and will be a junior at Calvin College
Dow High School in Midland and will be a freshman at Michigan State University in the fall. M e i e r re c e i v e d t h e J o s e p h Swanson Scholarship, funded by
Sean Wykoski, of Grand Rapids, son of Rick and Stacey Wykoski. Stacey is an employee at Jenison/ Hudsonville School Food Service in Jenison. Sean is a graduate of East
Top Row (left to right): L. Anderson, N. Baron, J. Bedard, B. Bell, V. Bovard, C. Case, K. DeGraaf, I. Dehring, R. Dumbleton, R. Evers. Middle Row: C. Gibson, L. Hobbs, H. Hoskins, D. Hossink, B. Karas, S. Keller, D. Lazzari-Morgan, K. Lobaza, J. Luddy, E. Maynard, A. Meier. Bottom Row: D. Overweg, C. Robertson, K. Schmitt, S. Stuart, D. Thoms, P. Vaidya, T. Westrate, A. Wizner, C. Wood, S. Wykoski, C. Zdybel.
Legacy Scholarships Elizabeth Maynard, of Sturgis, daughter of Todd and Diana Maynard. Todd is the owner of Willer’s Shoes in Sturgis. Elizabeth is a graduate of Sturgis High School and will be a freshman at St. Mary’s College in Notre Dame, Indiana, in the fall. Maynard received the Fred E. and Lillian Sherman Scholarship, funded by MRA board treasurer and former chair D. Larry Sherman in honor of his parents, founders of Sherman Shoes. Katherine Lobaza, of Bloomfield Hills, daughter of Sally Lobaza, a partner at Knitting Room in Birmingham. Katherine is a graduate of Ernest W. Seaholm High School in Birmingham and will be a freshman at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor in the fall. Lobaza received the D. Larry Sherman Scholarship, named for MRA board treasurer Sherman. Jacob Luddy, of Royal Oak, son of Pete and Faith Luddy. Pete is an employee at Sears Holdings Corporation in Royal Oak. Jacob is a graduate of Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak and will be a freshman at Michigan State University in East Lansing in the fall. Luddy received the Nathan Rosenfeld Scholarship, named for the late founder of Jacobson Stores, Inc.
in Grand Rapids in the fall. Kyle is the son of Ken and Karen DeGraaf. Courtney Gibson, of Gibraltar, an employee at Gibson Management Incorporated in Taylor. She is a graduate of Oscar A. Carlson High School in Gibraltar and will be a freshman at Oakland University in Rochester in the fall. Courtney is the daughter of William and Sheryl Gibson. DeGraaf and Gibson each received a Raymond A. and Mildred C. Sobelton Scholarship, funded by past MRA board chair Peter Sobelton and his sister and brother-in-law, Barbara and Douglas Stranahan, in honor of the Sobeltons’ parents, founders of Churchill’s Ltd. David Thoms, of Grand Rapids, son of William Thoms, an employee at Bill and Paul’s Sporthaus in Grand Rapids. David is a graduate of East Grand Rapids High School and will be a junior at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo in the fall. Thoms received the Mark Schrag Scholarship, funded by contributions from former MRA board member Mark Schrag. The late Mr. Schrag owned and operated the former Season’s Fine Gifts store in Okemos. Alexa Meier, of Midland, daughter of Jerry and Michelle Meier. Jerry is the owner of Meier Camera Shop in Midland. Alexa is a graduate of H.H.
contributions from former MRA board chair Joe Swanson, District Team Leader for Target Canada. L e a h H o b b s , of Washington Township, an employee at Target Corporation in Shelby Township. She is a graduate of Romeo High School and will be a junior at Oakland University in the fall. She is the daughter of John and Barbara Hobbs. David Hossink, of Byron Center, son of Doug and Rosalie Hossink. Doug is an owner at Gedris Wigent & Hossink PC in Comstock Park. David is a graduate of South Christian High School in Grand Rapids and will be a freshman at Calvin College in the fall. Kyle Schmitt, of Westphalia, son of Glen and Jane Schmitt. Glen is an employee at Target Corporation in Galesburg. Kyle is a graduate of Pewamo-Westphalia Jr/Sr High School and will be a senior at Alma College in Alma in the fall. Timothy Westrate, of Byron Center, son of Tim and Joan Westrate. Tim is an employee at Jonathan Stevens Mattress in Grand Rapids. Timothy is a graduate of Plymouth Christian High School in Grand Rapids and will be a junior at Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids in the fall. He has received MRA scholarships the past two years.
Grand Rapids High School and will be a sophomore at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee, in the fall. Hobbs, Hossink, Schmitt, Westrate and Wykoski each received a Target Corporation Scholarship, funded by contributions from Target. Chloe Zdybel, of Okemos, daughter of David and Julie Zdybel. Julie is an employee at the Insurance Institute of Michigan in Lansing. Chloe is a graduate of Okemos High School and will be a freshman at Grand Valley State University in the fall. Zdybel received the James P. Hallan MRA Leadership Scholarship, funded by contributions from MRA board member D. Larrry Sherman in honor of the current MRA president and chief executive officer. Nicole Baron, of Okemos, daughter of Neil and Elsy Baron. Neil is the owner of Baron’s Window Coverings in Lansing. Nicole is a graduate of Okemos High School and will be a freshman at the University of Michigan in the fall. Baron received the Retailers Mutual Scholarship, funded by contributions from MRA’s workers’ compensation insurance program. Rebecca Dumbleton, of Zeeland, an employee at De Bruyn Seed in Zeeland. She is a graduate of Zeeland East High School and will be a fresh-
August 2012 man at Michigan State University in the fall. Rebecca is the daughter of Paul Dumbleton. Dumbleton received the Michigan Retailers Services, Inc., Scholarship, funded by contributions from the wholly owned subsidiary of MRA that delivers services to the membership. She also received this scholarship last year. MRA Scholarships Lauren Anderson, of Ada, daughter of David and Sharon Anderson. Sharon is an employee at High Grade Concrete Products in Spring Lake. Lauren is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School and will be a junior at the University of Michigan in the fall. Jaime Bedard, of Negaunee, daughter of Andra Bedard, an employee at the Diocese of Marquette. Jaime is a graduate of Negaunee High School and will be a freshman at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, Minnesota, in the fall. Brittany Bell, of Traverse City, daughter of Robert and Michele Bell. Michele is an employee at Surgical Associates of Traverse City. Brittany is a graduate of Traverse City High School and will be a freshman at Alpena Community College in the fall. Kimberly Bolton, of Ann Arbor, daughter of Sandra Bolton, an employee at Community Orthopedic Surgery PC in Ypsilanti. Kimberly is a graduate of Saline High School and will be a freshman at Washtenaw Community College in Ann Arbor in the fall. Valerie Bovard, of Grand Rapids, daughter of Charles and Carla Bovard, and Tracy and Jim Evink. Tracy is an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Grand Rapids. Valerie is a graduate of Comstock Park High School in Comstock Park and will be a junior at Grand Valley State University in the fall. Courtney Case, of Macomb, daughter of Michael and LeeAnn Case. Michael is an employee at Art Van Furniture in Warren. Courtney is a graduate of Henry Ford II High School in Sterling Heights and will be a freshman at Northern Michigan University in Marquette in the fall. Kelsey Chiarelli, of Whitmore Lake, daughter of Rick Chiarelli, an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Grand Rapids. Kelsey is a graduate of Pinckney High School in Pinckney and will be a sophomore at Michigan State University in the fall. Isabelle Dehring, of Marquette, daughter of Terrence and Anne Dehring. Terrence is the president of QuickTrophy LLC in Marquette. Isabelle is a graduate of Marquette
7 Senior High School and will be a freshman at Northern Michigan University in the fall. Morgan Earley, of Eaton Rapids, daughter of Darryl and Rhonda Earley. Darryl is an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Lansing. Morgan is a graduate of Eaton Rapids Senior High School and will be a sophomore at Lansing Community College in the fall. Roxanne Evers, of Hudsonville, an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Grand Rapids. She is a graduate of Hudsonville High School and will be a junior at Grand Valley State University in the fall. Roxanne is the daughter of Edward and Dawn Evers. She also won an MRA scholarship last year. Hannah Hoskins, of Cedar Springs, daughter of Daniel Hoskins, an employee at Wynalda Packaging in Belmont. Hannah is a graduate of Algoma Christian School in Kent City and will be a freshman at Baker College of Muskegon in the fall. Bradley Karas, of Wyoming, son of Daniel and Laurel Karas. Laurel is an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Grand Rapids. Bradley is a graduate of Grandville High School and will be a sophomore at Central Michigan University in Mount Pleasant in the fall. He also won an MRA scholarship last year. Sarah Keller, of Ann Arbor, daughter of Richard and Sharilyn Keller. Sharilyn is an employee at Ann Arbor Center for Behavioral and Developmental Pediatrics. Sarah is a graduate of Community High School in Ann Arbor and will be a freshman at Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin, in the fall. Destiny Lazzari-Morgan, of Gaylord, daughter of Kip and Angel Sircely. Kip is an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Gaylord. Destiny is a graduate of Gaylord High School and will be a freshman at Grand Rapids Community College in the fall. Molly Markovicz, of Spring Lake, daughter of Mary Markovicz, an employee at Orthopedic Associates of Muskegon. Molly is a graduate of Spring Lake High School and will be a junior at Ferris State University in Big Rapids in the fall. Danae Overweg, of Allendale, an employee at Kraker Greenhouses in Allendale. She is a graduate of Covenant Christian High School in Grand Rapids and will be a freshman at Grand Valley State University in the fall. Danae is the daughter of Dave and Denise Overweg. Clare Robertson, of Grand Rapids,
daughter of Dale and Sonja Robertson. Dale is an employee at the Grand Rapids Public Museum. Clare is a graduate of Grand Rapids Christian High School and will be a junior at Grand Valley State University in the fall. Savannah Stuart, of Battle Creek, an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Battle Creek. She is a graduate of Lakeview High School in Battle Creek and will be a freshman at Kellogg Community College in Battle Creek in the fall. Savannah is the daughter of Thom Martin and Victoria Stuart. Palavi Vaidya, of Grand Rapids, daughter of Pavan and Geeta Vaidya. Pavan is an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Walker. Palavi is a graduate of East-
ern High School in Ada and will be a freshman at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, in the fall. Amanda Wizner, of Saginaw, daughter of David and Gretchen Wizner. David is an employee at Meijer, Inc. in Bay City. Amanda is a graduate of Heritage High School in Saginaw and will be a junior at Capital University in Columbus, Ohio, in the fall. She also received a scholarship in 2010. Connor Wood, of Mount Pleasant, son of Kristin Moutsatson, owner of Book Shelf LLC in Mount Pleasant. Connor is a graduate of Mount Pleasant High School and will be a freshman at the University of Michigan in the fall.
MRA urges treasurer to tax Amazon Continued from page 1
Hallan pointed out in his letter, however, that Treasury’s own guidelines under Revenue Administrative Bulletin 1999-1 state that nexus is established for out-ofstate sellers through their in-state wholly owned subsidiaries. Congressional hearings Meanwhile, the fairness fight continues in the state legislature and Congress. MRA has been scheduling meetings with representatives and senators in their districts to keep Main Street Fairness on their minds during the legislature’s summer break. The legislature will hold one day of session on August 15 and then adjourn until returning for a few weeks of session in September. The Michigan Main Street Fairness legislation, House bills 5004 and 5005, would expand the nexus definition for sales and use tax collection to include out-of-state sellers that have an ownership interest in a business in Michigan or that have a contractual relationship with an in-state seller. Out-of-state sellers that meet those criteria would be required to collect and remit sales tax on purchases made by Michigan residents. At the federal level, Congress held recent hearings on federal Main Street Fairness legislation. Several different bills have been introduced in Congress. The House held a hearing on the Marketplace Equity Act, H.R. 3179, on July 24, and the Senate followed with a hearing on the Marketplace Fairness Act, S. 1832, on August 1. Both measures would address
the 1992 U.S. Supreme Court decision in Quill v. North Dakota, in which the court said states can require an out-of-state seller to collect sales tax only if it has a physical presence, or nexus, in that state. The federal legislation would allow states to require collection by all sellers, including Internet and catalog retailers. The hearings were a follow-up to a hearing last fall by the House Judiciary Committee, at which Michigan music retailer and Michigan Retailers board member Dan Marshall testified on behalf of MRA. Pressure Republican governors, including Michigan’s Rick Snyder, have sent letters calling on Congress to take action on Main Street Fairness legislation. The recent hearings suggest momentum is building in favor of leveling the playing field for all businesses and that local efforts to educate lawmakers and officials are paying off. However, it is doubtful that federal lawmakers will be able to reach a consensus and act before the end of the year, if at all. “MRA is not willing to leave our members’ fate up to Congress, which is why we continue to fight for a Michigan solution that enables our businesses to compete on a level playing field,” Hallan said. “The best way to push Congress to act on this critical issue is for Michigan to enact its own legislation this fall and keep up the pressure for a federal solution.”
What’s next after health care ruling Continued from page 2
mary is available on all plans we offer. There is a one-year “safe harbor” for insurance carriers to develop the SBC. • Report health insurance premiums paid on W-2 Forms: If you issue 250 or more W-2 forms, you must report the aggregate cost of employer-sponsored group health insurance on your employees’ W-2 forms for the 2012 tax year (issued in January 2013). At this time, the reporting is for informational purposes only; it does not affect the taxability of benefits. W-2 reporting is optional for smaller employers in the 2012 tax year and until further federal guidance is issued. Most MRA members are well under the size impacted by the W-2 requirement. • Provide Women’s Preventive Care Services: Well-woman visits, prescription generic contraceptives, sterilization, breastfeeding support, domestic violence screening and sexually transmitted disease screening must be provided by health care plans without co-payments or deductibles. Coverage takes effect in plan years starting on or after August 1, 2012. This coverage takes effect for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan group subscribers on January 1, 2013. Coverage takes effect immediately for individual MyBlue subscribers whose insurance begins after August 1, although claim forms for generic prescription contraceptives will have to be submitted to BCBSM until January 2013. • Limit FSA Contributions: Beginning January 1, 2013, Flexible Spending Account contributions will be limited to $2,500 annually. The limit will be indexed for cost-of-living adjustments in 2014 and thereafter. • Provide a Health Insurance Exchange Notice of Availability: Early next year, all new hires and current employees must receive a written notice informing them of the health insurance Exchange, and the conse-
quences if an employee opts to forgo employer-sponsored coverage and purchase a qualified plan from an Exchange. This is effective March 1, 2013. The Department of Health and Human Services is expected to issue model Exchange notices. • Withhold Additional Medicare Taxes: Employers must withhold an additional 0.9 percent Medicare tax from high-income individuals. The extra tax applies to those whose incomes exceed $200,000 or $250,000 for married couples filing jointly. • Give Up the Retiree Drug Subsidy Deduction: If your company receives the Medicare Part D retiree drug subsidy, the tax deduction for prescription drug costs is eliminated in 2013. This provision will not impact most small businesses. 2014 Reforms January 1, 2014, is D-Day for PPACA. The most far-reaching mandates and reforms become effective then. For example, effective for plan years beginning on or after January 1, 2014, group health plans and issuers must have: • Guaranteed issue and renewability of coverage • No pre-existing condition exclusions (no age limitations) • No annual or lifetime limits on coverage • No eligibility rules based on health-status related factors • Community rating rules that constrain premium variation. In addition, effective in 2014, PPACA’s state-based insurance Exchanges are scheduled to be operational. Also in 2014, the individual mandate to buy insurance will become effective, as will the law’s “pay or play” penalties for employers. New taxes are scheduled to pay for it all. The health insurance reform package is paid for with a host of taxes, fees and penalties on individuals and business. Some notable revenue enhancements include a $2.3 billion annual fee on drug makers that increases to $31 billion over 10 years; a 2.9 percent excise tax on “medical devices” that takes effect in 2013; and an excise tax on insurance companies ($57 billion over 10 years). Unfortunately for business owners, there is nothing to stop all these extra fees and taxes from being passed along in the form of higher costs for drugs, medical devices and, ultimately, the insurance premiums we pay. Next issue: Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding the big changes coming in 2014, including: “Must I provide health insurance to my employees?”
IT’S THE LAW
Youth employment law allows more work hours by William J. Hallan, MRA Vice President Government Affairs and General Counsel At a recent n e i g h b o rh o o d barbeque several of my neighbors with teenagers were discussing their kids’ parttime jobs. While the market has been tough on teens, there are still opportunities available for kids to earn money for college while gaining valuable experience. My own daughter is a long way away from starting a part-time job, but I was curious to see what the neighborhood kids were doing. As the discussion turned from where each teen was working, one of my neighbors mentioned that his son was able to work more hours this past school year than the previous year. This is because of a change in minor-employment laws that went into effect last October (visit www.legislature.mi.gov and type 409.111 in the MCL search area). Minors age 16 or 17 can now work up to 24 hours in one week when school is in session. Previously, when school was in session, a student under 18 could not work a combined school and workweek of more than 48 hours. Instruction hours vary across school districts but the average is 30.5 hours a week. Before the change a minor would be limited to work only 17.5 hours on average. The new law also provides that a minor who is 16 or older may not work more than six days in one week; 10 hours in one day; or an average of eight hours per day in one week. The change brings Michigan more
in line with the 47 other states that do not use a formula to determine the number of hours a minor can work. In addition, it relieves employers from the regulatory headache of tracking a minor’s school and work hours. Individual school districts set their own hours of instruction, which made it burdensome for an employer to comply with the old law. However, while Michigan has taken steps to improve employment opportunities for minors, 47 states have either no limit or a 36.5-hour average per week limit for minors. Employers were sent a letter recently with new posting requirements that include the updated rules and must be displayed in a prominent place. If you have not received this posting or have any questions about the new rules, contact the Department of Education, Office of Career and Technical Education at 517.335.6041. For my neighbor and his son, this was a welcome change from the formula system to 24 hours a week during the school year. Being able to work more means he can save more money for college. It also gives his parents – not the state – more discretion to determine what kind of work schedule he can handle while in school. A part-time job teaches students valuable life skills like responsibility, problem solving, and how to interact with others. The changes in law are good for retail. I’m also hopeful that by the time my daughter is ready to start looking for a part-time job, the employment limits in Michigan are the same as those in the rest of the country.
Membership Services Corner Quick notes on key services. Call 800.366.3699 for details. Credit Card Processing • There are additional processing steps involved when you call Voice Authorization. To be certain your payment is not delayed, contact customer service to discuss the offline procedure. • Pin-based debit transactions cannot be voided. Call to discuss the correct procedure. • To protect your business against customer disputes, be sure to imprint and obtain a signature on all credit card transactions. Call if you need an imprinter or sales slips. • The following terminals are no lon-
ger PCI (data security) compliant: Zon, Tranz, Omni, Hypercom T7P. Please call to discuss upgrade options. • Your credit card terminal can support additional services such as pin-based debit, check guarantee, and gift card processing. Contact customer service to obtain more information. Social Media Michigan Retailers would like to connect with our members through social media. Please take a minute to visit our Facebook page at www. facebook.com/MichiganRetailers.
RETAIL TECHNOLOGY NEWS
Avoid processing landmines John Mayleben CPP, is MRA senior vice president technology and new product development and a national expert on electronic payment processing. He is the first person in Michigan and among the first in the nation to receive the Certified Payments Professional designation from the national Electronic Transactions Association. As a merchant you are also a consumer, and one service you buy is a merchant account for proc e s s i n g c re d i t card transactions. It is likely that salespeople approach you on a regular basis, attempting to sell you this service or get you to switch processors. My advice: caveat emptor—buyer, beware. As a national leader in providing this service, we at the Michigan Retailers Association often hear reports about how others are selling merchant processing. We hear about the frustrations some merchants face when establishing an account or dealing with these other processors. With that in mind, here are some merchant account “landmines” so that you, too, can beware. First, to establish a merchant account you will be asked to sign a contract. Read it carefully and understand it – all contracts are not alike. Some contracts have a clause requiring a term of two to four years and have an early termination fee (ETF), sometimes called “liquidated damages.” This clause states the processor will calculate the estimated lost revenue that it would have made from the account and assesses all or some percentage of it as an ETF. One of our regional marketing reps recently spoke to a small retailer who had an ETF from another processor of more than $15,000. You should also understand the various fees that some processors assess. •“Rates as low as X” A number of credit card processors are selling their programs with a ver y good (sometimes too good) “base” rate. You should make sure that you are aware of the frequency that you get cards in your business that qualify for this base rate. We have seen merchants quoted a rate that, because of their type of business, they will never see. • Monthly minimums This requires that you pay a minimum amount (usually $25$40) if you process few or no transactions in a given month. • Supplies Who provides the supplies that you need to process transactions – you or the processor?
Consumables such as printer paper and ink cost between 2.5¢ and 3¢ per transaction. If your processor does not provide them for free, factor that cost into your cost of a transaction. • New terminal “requirements” We have seen a dramatic increase in reports of deceptive sales practices – merchants with perfectly good terminals are told they must replace them to be compliant with PCI (security) regulations. Sales agents from other processors have admitted to me that no matter the terminal model, their opening solution is “replace your terminal.” If you decide to upgrade your terminal, do your research on the cost of the unit. And beware of processors offering a “free terminal” – there is usually a catch. Please note that MRA’s merchant processing has no early termination fees in its contract, offers free supplies and pledges not to use deceptive sales practices of any kind, including urging unnecessary hardware upgrades. Remember, caveat emptor.
Proposals crowd Nov. 6 ballot Continued from page 4
Quality Home Care Council, which would create a registry of workers from which consumers could choose their care provider, require training of home care providers, and provide limited collective bargaining rights to home help care workers. The state currently has about 50,000 Medicaid recipients receiving assistance support through the home help program. Opponents of the proposal consider this an attempt to force unionization of caregivers and to siphon off money from the state. 8 New Casinos This would authorize the establishment of eight new casinos at specific locations in Detroit, Clam Lake Township, DeWitt Township, Pontiac, Clinton Township, Birch Run Township, Grand Rapids and Romulus. Michigan currently has 27 casinos (three licensed casinos in Detroit and 24 casinos owned and operated by Native American tribes throughout the state in both the upper and lower peninsulas). In the past, retailers have had concerns with new casinos because they often take business away from downtown areas and brick-and-mortar stores. Public Vote on a New International Crossing This would require a vote of the people before the State of Michigan could construct or finance new international bridges or tunnels for motor vehicles. This proposal is a response by the Ambassador Bridge Company, owners of the
existing, private, Detroit-Windsor span, to the planned New International Trade Crossing between Detroit and Windsor. Governor Rick Snyder, business leaders across the state and the Canadian government all strongly support the new bridge. 2/3 Majority Vote for Tax Increases This would prohibit the imposition of new or additional taxes or expansion of the base of taxation by the State of Michigan unless approved by a two-thirds majority of members in each chamber of the legislature or by a statewide vote of the people. While retailers do not believe raising taxes should be taken lightly, this would significantly limit the legislature’s ability to control funding and balance the state budget.
Lottery enhances website by M. Scott Bowen, Commissioner The Michigan Lottery website, www. michiganlotter y.com, had over 3.9 million unique visitors (a person who visits a web site more than once within a specific range of time) during a 12-month period that ended on June 30, 2012. That’s roughly half of the Michigan population over the age of 18 years old. We are excited to offer a few new ways to promote our retailers within our website. Find Winners Near You This is a new tool that will do just what its name says. It will allow players to search for winning tickets of $600 or greater sold at any retailer in Michigan. Players can view the retailer name where the ticket was purchased, how much the prize amount was, what game it was, and other details. To find and bookmark this new feature, please visit www.michiganlottery.com; hover your mouse over the Winners tab and then click on Find Winners Near You. Retailer Finder Now our millions of website visitors can search for and find your business. This will allow players to easily know where they can buy Lottery tickets – and other necessities. This feature remains constant on our website and will always be accessible through a link just above the money tree in the upper left hand corner. Word has it that the retailer finder also will be available this fall for our mobile app, so that
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players can find your business when they are on the go. Remind your players of the importance of being members of the Lottery’s Player’s Club. Not only can they register to receive winning number alerts and earn points to redeem for prizes, but they can enter a number of special drawings. Mobile Retail Outlet Here are the three remaining events in August where players will find the MRO: • Michigan International Speedway, Brooklyn – August 17-19 • Warren Birthday Bash, Warren – August 23-26 • Arts, Beats & Eats, Royal Oak – August 31-September 3. Come check out the MRO and meet our Street Team, who will be there with Lottery merchandise prizes. This summer has been a whirlwind of electrifying promotions a n d s e n s a t i o n a l e v e n t s . We could not have done it successfully without the cooperation of our sensational retailers and extraordinary players – thank you! Instants The new instant ticket scheduled to go on sale August 7 is $500,000 Emerald Green™ ($10). The release for this ticket is subject to change. Tickets set to expire on August 6 include IG 406 Atari™ ($2), IG 410 Wild Card™ ($2), IG 417 Red Hot Valentine™ ($5), IG 418 Fast $50s™ ($1), IG 419 Hold ‘Em Poker™ ($5), IG 420 M&Ms™ ($2), IG 421 Classic Wild Time™ ($2), IG 426 Top Dollar™ ($1), and IG 428 3s A Charm™ ($1). Remember, if you are still selling any of these tickets, be sure to tell your customers about the expiration date, thus ensuring prizes they may win on the ticket can be claimed before it becomes invalid. Retailers are reminded to always activate instant game tickets before putting them on sale to ensure winning tickets c a n b e re d e e m e d b y p l a y e r s . Over 95 cents of every dollar spent on Lottery tickets is returned to the state in the form of contributions to the state School Aid Fund, prizes to players and commissions to retailers. In fiscal year 2011, the contribution to schools was over $727.3 million. Since its inception in 1972, the Lottery has contributed over $16 billion to education in Michigan. For information on all Lottery games, please visit the Lottery’s website at www.michiganlottery.com.
Negen’s ‘camp’ planned for Oct. 4 Continued from page 1
“We all walked away with something, and that is what it’s all about – taking what will work for you and your organization. It’s a highly recommended, cost effective, mind stretching…sometimes scratching…how can ‘this work for me’ event.” Underscoring Mitchell’s comment about the boot camp helping retailers large and small was Michelle Dolski, director of organizational development for Art Van Furniture, Warren.
She called Negen’s creative, “grass roots” marketing tips “one of the biggest takeaways for our group.…The training, tools and networking offered by Bob Negen are professional for a large company like Art Van and also perfect for any small business owner who wants to take his or her business to another level.” Solving problems Once a single store retailer of kites, Negen now devotes his time to teaching independent retailers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico strategies that ignite sales and bring the fun back into retail. As owners of WhizBang! Training in Grand Haven, Negen and his wife, Susan, speak to scores of groups each year, providing practical advice and sharing tactics touching on all areas of retail management. The biggest struggle independent retailers face today, according to Negen, is not a bleak economy or competition from Internet retailers or chain stores. It’s the frustration that arises from not having the skills to succeed. “Your passion for your product is not enough to make you profitable,” he explained. “The economy is challenging, but it’s not the economy that’s the problem. And it’s not things like the road is torn up in front of your store. “The challenge is to use your
skills and knowledge to do what you need to do to build your business. My biggest challenge is getting people to realize that what they need to know is out there. Problems are solvable.” Passionate Negen is passionate about helping the independent retailer succeed, which makes him an effective and popular speaker. “I worked the floor for 19 years. I know the excuses retailers will use to explain less than stellar results and I know which are valid and which aren’t,” he said. “I use a lot of storytelling to augment the solid information and tactics I teach in my presentations, because I teach what really works for other retailers. I want retailers to leave with their heads nearly exploding with great ideas, optimism and the motivation to try new things.” Registration The October 4 event will be held at the Radisson Hotel Lansing, 111 North Grand Avenue, from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event will arm you with the knowledge of how to: • Get New Customers for Little or No Money • Turn Those First-time Shoppers into Long-Term Customers • Find and Train a Team of Retail Superstars • Become a Sales Coach So You Can Turn Your Team into a Selling Machine • Quickly Implement 5 Ways to Immediately Build Your Average Sale • Easily Build Your Customer Database Using the World’s Simplest and Best Loyalty Program • Master Electronic and Social Media Marketing to Dramatically Increase Customer Loyalty • Leverage Your Online Presence While Driving More Sales. Cost is $39 for MRA members and $99 for non-members. Each additional registrant from the same business (members and non-members) is $39. Breakfast, lunch and valet parking are included. For details and registration go to www.retailers.com or contact MRA’s Kammy Johns at 800.366.3699 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
NEW MEMBERS Wolf’s Auto Service, Albion Cake Bake & Balloons LLC, Algonac Timberwood Home Builders Inc., Algonac Sunsations Products, Algonac American Society for Clinical Investigation, Ann Arbor Paul Glendon, Arbitrator Atty, Ann Arbor Sherry Chin PLC, Ann Arbor Fingerle Lumber Co., Ann Arbor Dunleavy’s Eatery & Pub, Au Gres Uptown Girl, Bay City Belleville Presbyterian Church, Belleville Greenfield Presbyterian Church, Berkley Stacey Leuliette Gracious Living, Birmingham Automatic Equipment Sales & Service, Comstock Park Calvary Presbyterian Church, Detroit Committee to Elect Dave Bing Mayor, Detroit Gator Packaging Inc., Dexter Turn Three Corporation, Eastpointe Lake Montcalm Auto & Boat, Edmore Go Comedy! Improv Theater LLC, Ferndale Shavalier Auto Parts Inc., Fruitport Kost Contracting, Grand Ledge Quality Inn-Grand Rapids, Grand Rapids BioLyte Laboratories LLC, Grand Rapids Shine Window Care, Grandville Michigan Rhino Buildings LLC, Grandville
Andrea’s Italian Pizzas & Family Restaurant, Grant Weaver’s Grocery, Harsens Island Holland Lock & Safe, Holland Dan Hoe Excavating Inc., Holland Hillside Restaurant, Houghton CEI Michigan LLC, Howell Signal 88 Security Lansing, Howell White Flame Brewing Co., Hudsonville Harvest Moon Bar & Grill, Kalamazoo Beson Supermarket, Kawkawlin Superior Bread Company, Livonia The Barefoot Gardner LLC, Lowell Lighthouse Motel, Ludington Molly’s Furniture, Ludington C & J Transport, Ludington Fraco Inc., Marquette 3rd St Day Spa & Salon, Marquette Lake Superior Theatre, Marquette Carpet & Vinyl Outlet, Mount Pleasant EFT Guard LLC, NC Sub Station, Negaunee Country Woods, Ovid Laird Glass & Upholstery Inc., Plymouth Great Lakes Foot Care, Pontiac Lakeshore Fresh Market, Portage Jawor Brothers Country Store LLC, Ravenna Pinstripes & Polkadots LLC, Rockford Blakeslee & Son Inc., Rockford Ink and Toner Alternative, Sault Sainte Marie City of South Haven, South Haven Simply You Salon & Spa, Stockbridge Woodhaven Lodging LLC, Woodhaven
How To Increase Traffic: A Short Story With Pictures 2.
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