SOURCE: Michigan Retailers Association

Michigan Retailers Association

September 19, 2017 09:24 ET

Michigan Retailers and Michigan Grocers join forces, increasing clout at state Capitol

LANSING, MI--(Marketwired - September 19, 2017) - Michigan Grocers Association and Michigan Retailers Association are proud to announce that they are combining operations, effective January 1, 2018. Michigan Grocers will become a division of Michigan Retailers Association.

Both organizations are considered advocacy leaders at the Capitol. By joining together, they provide an even stronger voice for members concerned about sales taxes, recycling policy, food safety and more.

"The interests of the two organizations align on many issues, so this is a wonderfully logical pairing," said James P. Hallan, President and CEO of Michigan Retailers Association (MRA). In recent years they successfully worked together to eliminate item pricing requirements and ensure a level playing field between remote sellers and Michigan businesses.

Linda Gobler, President and CEO of Michigan Grocers Association (MGA) who has been a dedicated champion for the retail food industry for 32 years, will retire at year's end. She will remain as a consultant. "This move allows me to step back and yet feel confident that our members will not only be well-served, but also have access to increased benefits."

Gobler said she expects the move to MRA to be seamless, especially since MGA staff will stay on and the popular monthly Michigan Food News publication will continue to inform members.

"Our strength has been legislative and regulatory representation and that won't change," said Gobler, whom the national Food Marketing Institute honored for government relations excellence in 2013.

MRA is the largest state retail association in the nation, representing more than 15,000 stores and ecommerce websites across the state. It's known as a leader in providing members with premier customer service, legislative advocacy, competitive credit card processing, workers' compensation insurance and other cost-saving benefits.

MGA represents hundreds of supermarkets, grocers, eat-at-home food businesses, gourmet and convenience stores in addition to drug and pet food retailers. Associate members range from manufacturers to wholesalers and equipment companies. Recent legislative victories include revising the food stamp distribution system, updating liquor laws, and working to improve comprehensive recycling in Michigan. The group works closely with the Department of Agriculture on food safety regulations.

The transition is not unprecedented. MRA has joined forces in the past with the Michigan Retail Hardware Association, Michigan Shoe Association, Michigan Jewelers Association and Michigan Tire and Vehicle Association.

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