Texas Retailers Newsletter: July 2019

Hello Texas Retailers:

It’s July and summer is officially here. Our nation just celebrated its 243rd birthday on July 4th and the summer of 2019 is in full swing. Although summer typically signifies a slower pace, TRA’s work on behalf of the Texas retail industry continues. Many bills passed during the recently concluded Texas legislative session are now transitioning into the rule-making phase before final implementation, and TRA is participating in several of those processes. Additionally, on June 24th we received great news from the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) regarding SNAP store level data. More details on these issues and others are in this month’s TRA newsletter. Last, but not least, if it’s July that means the annual TRA Retailers Forum is right around the corner.

The TRA team is working hard putting the finishing touches on the annual TRA Forum, which will be in Austin on July 29th. The fourth Texas Retailers Forum will certainly live up to and build on the success TRA members have come to know with our annual Forum. We have put together a great and very informative program on July 29th, which will feature timely, topical and quality sessions and speakers, ranging from state issues to federal issues to the latest industry trends.

Attendees will have the opportunity to meet with and learn from elected officials and retail industry leaders from across the state and country. Additionally, make plans to be there to help us honor our legislative and industry champions at networking functions such as our Awards Dinner, networking breaks, and our popular closing night party. Registration for the annual Texas Retailers Forum is still open, so plan to join us here in Austin on July 29th for our annual industry showcase event. Act now to secure your spot at this can’t miss Texas retail industry event!

As always, thank you for supporting TRA.

Sincerely,

 

President/CEO
Texas Retailers Association

Legislative Update

During the weeks leading up to the implementation of Senate Bill 21, which increases the legal age of purchase and possession of tobacco products from 18 to 21, the Texas Retailers Association has been busy coordinating implementation efforts with the state. The Texas Comptroller’s office will be mailing out packages to each business authorized to sell tobacco products with all of the information, paper work and new signage required by SB 21. All of this information will also be made available via their website www.comptroller.texas.gov in the coming weeks. TRA will also push out this information via email and through the newsletter as it becomes available.

If you have any questions about the implementation of SB 21 in your business please feel free to contact TRA at any time.

Senate Bill 21 Legislative Information

 

Paid Sick Leave Update:

Dallas

The City of Dallas passed a paid sick leave ordinance which becomes effective August 1, 2019, unless it is challenged in court or by the Texas Attorney General. Click here to find copies of the signage required to be posted on August 1st and retailers who operate within the City of Dallas must begin to track sick leave. One piece of good news: the compliance (fines) does not go into affect until April 2020.  Several meetings are scheduled to answer questions regarding how the sick pay provision will work. TRA will attend the meetings and share information as it becomes available.

San Antonio

A coalition of business groups, closely aligned with the Texas Retailers Association, have filed a lawsuit against San Antonio, claiming the ordinance is an unconstitutional violation of the state’s minimum wage act. The ordinance was to take effect Aug. 1, but the litigation may delay that. The coalition has asked a court in Bexar County to block the law’s implementation. The Texas Retailers Association is continuing to explore how we can engage on these legal challenges in San Antonio and Dallas. More details to come. Click here to read more.

 

FEDERAL UPDATE:

 

The U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded the judgment against Food Marketing Institute (FMI) in its ongoing case, Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader. The Supreme Court issued a 6-3 opinion in favor of FMI in the Argus Leader v. FMI case over whether store-level SNAP data should be protected from Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests as confidential business information. The Court’s decision finally puts to bed a lawsuit filed by the South Dakota-based Argus Leader newspaper in 2011 after the Department of Agriculture denied a FOIA request for the store-level SNAP redemption data for every SNAP authorized retailer in the country. The Court upended long-standing precedent on the protection of trade secrets and replaced it with a new standard that would be more protective of business information in the hands of the government.  The court held that FOIA exemption for protection of “confidential business information” includes any commercial or financial information that is “both customarily and actually treated as private by its owner and is provided to the government under an assurance of privacy.”  The Court held that store level SNAP data meets both prongs of this test.

 

The unfavorable 8th Circuit Court decision got reversed an remanded, which is the best result we could have asked for. The decision will protect supermarket industry competition and prevent stigmatization of stores that serve low income communities. Here is a link to the Supreme Court opinion: https://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/18pdf/18-481_5426.pdf

 

  

2019 Texas Retailers Forum

 

 

The 2019 Texas Retailers Forum will be held at the Omni Barton Creek on July 29th, 2019 in Austin, TX. The Texas Retailers Forum will be one full day of breakout sessions, educational panels, and an awards dinner. The Texas Retailers are very excited for our annual conference and hope you can join! 

Registration for members is $350 and non-members is $700. This includes all meals, educational opportunities, breakout sessions, and your tickets to the dinner and closing night party. Click here to register today! If you need a hotel room, please email Justin Williamson at [email protected].

 

Member Spotlight: Walgreen's

 Walgreens Logo

Walgreens Implements Safe Drug Disposal Options for Customers in All of Its Pharmacies

Walgreens today announced it has delivered on the expansion of its safe drug disposal program announced last fall to provide year-round drug disposal options in all of its pharmacies nationwide, at no cost to customers. To complement its existing national effort to make the disposal of unwanted medications safer, easier and more convenient, all Walgreens pharmacies that do not currently offer a safe medication disposal kiosk now offer DisposeRx packets or other drug disposal options*, available upon request for customers to safely discard their unwanted medications at home. Click here to read more.

 

  

TRA-Endorsed Insurance and Risk Management Services Provider: Marsh Wortham

Marsh Wortham Ad

 

TRA-Endorsed Energy Solutions Provider: Amerex Energy Services

 

A TRA-endorsed service provider since 2002, Amerex is the largest OTC(wholesale) natural gas, electricity and emissions trader in North America. Their real-time involvement in the wholesale energy market and their customized service has consistently yielded significant cost savings to TRA members. Click Here to Learn More

Contact: Brandi Peck, [email protected], 281.340.5308
www.amerexenergyservices.com

   

Grocers Corner- In the Cart

WIC/SNAP Program Statistics Update

 

  • SNAP payments down last in May from April by .01%
  • WIC payments up in May from April  .03%.

 

Please note with Hurricane season approaching make sure stores are registered to receive email updates in the case of an outage.  If you need to register contact Maria Gomez email:  [email protected]

 

A disaster recovery maintenance will be performed in August on the EBT system.  Notifications will be sent to stores prior to the event.

  

FMI Shopper Trends Report Examines Personalized Grocery Shopping

The Food Marketing Institute (FMI) has released its 45th edition of U.S. Grocery Shopper Trends, an annual look at grocery shopper attitudes and behavior. The 2019 report, prepared by The Hartman Group Inc., studies what consumers want from retailers when personalizing grocery shopping. Click here to read more.

 

The Power of Meat: Meeting Consumers Where They Are To Increase Sales

Meat is the calling card for most grocery stores, according to Anne-Marie Roerink of 210 Analytics, who for 14 years now has prepared the Power of Meat report on behalf of the Annual Meat Conference, sponsored by the Food Marketing Institute and the North American Meat Institute. This year’s edition, like those in the past, is an in-depth look at meat through the shoppers’ eyes. The survey was conducted in December 2018. Click here to read more.



 

Same FedEx Service. Lower Cost.


If you could get the same service from FedEx that you do today, but for a lower cost, wouldn't you jump at the opportunity? Through the TRA Shipping Program, you can. When you enroll for this free TRA member benefit, you can ship FedEx the same way you do today. The only difference you'll notice will be the positive impact on your bottom line. Enroll today to save up to 27%* on select FedEx servicesVisit www.PartnerShip.com/01tra for complete program details. If you have any questions call 800-599-2902 or email [email protected]

Your FedEx and UPS Shipments Will Be More Expensive in 2019
FedEx and UPS rates are going up in 2019, and it’s more important than ever that TRA members know how to mitigate the impact to their business. PartnerShip®, the benefit provider that manages the TRA Shipping Program, has analyzed the new rate charts so TRA members can accurately prepare for the year ahead. Download the free white paper to see a break down of where you’ll find the highest increases and get a simplified explanation of the complicated changes you need to be aware of.

 

 

 

 

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