Inside Retail Services News

Year in Review to Celebrate You through Our Commitment!

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We are proud of all retailers, big and small, for providing essential consumer products and goods that have brightened our lives throughout the pandemic. The Retail Services (RS) team has been diligent in providing timely and seamless value-added services throughout the year to keep pace with your needs.

As we wrap up 2021, I want to review key accomplishments and resources RS has provided for our members throughout this year. This is a way to celebrate your accomplishments and our team’s commitment. In addition, we want to hear from you on potential services of value.

Members recognized:

  • First-ever Safety Achievement Award to two long-time members who demonstrated management commitment to make workers’ safety as important as their profit. Watch a brief video here
  • Recognizing members who engage in advancing Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion:
  • Ace Hardware received the 2022 Engage for Good’s Golden Halo Award for Business because of their decades of leadership in point of sale fundraising, supporting tens of thousands of charities in the communities they serve.
  • Supporting members who desire to advance Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion principles:
    • If you have similar good-work stories to share or if you want to find ways to support good local causes, please contact me. We are here to amplify your good work.

Retail Services’ accomplishments:

  • The strategic hiring of Kathy Kimbel, whose experience and background has heightened the team’s focus on integrating safety and return-to-work programs that will reduce your claims cost.
  • Successful management of four safety grants by Rick Means, Director of Safety and Education, and consolidating technology-based training tools on a single website:
  • Membership retention rate above the industry average (94% vs. 89%) during the pandemic reflects your trust and loyalty in the team.
  • This month, a letter was sent to Congress requesting additional financial assistance to small retailers who continue to be adversely impacted due to public health measures related to COVID.
  • Our Retail Workforce Initiative supports the Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Initiative. The goal is to create a pipeline of workers with retail job-readiness skills, especially those from diverse social and economic backgrounds. Skills gained will enable diverse career pathways in retail or enter other industry sectors because of the essential skills gained in retail. To this end, we are proud to share the following accomplishments in 2021:
    • Governor Inslee issued a Careers in Retail Proclamation in September using the key data Washington Retail provided to his office.
    • Identified 50% state funding match for employers who provide qualified training programs to their employees. This funding match is still available through mid-2023.

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