RILA Urges Presidential Candidates to Pursue Pro-Retail Policies

Aug 08, 2012, 10:15 ET from Retail Industry Leaders Association

Robust economy cannot exist without a thriving retail industry

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- In letters sent to President Barack Obama and Governor Mitt Romney, the Retail Industry Leaders Association (RILA) urged both to consider the retail industry's prominent role in the U.S. economy as they advance their visions for the future.

The letter was signed by Gregg Steinhafel, Target chairman, president and CEO and Sandra L. Kennedy, RILA president. Mr. Steinhafel serves as Chairman of the RILA Board of Directors. 

"As this year's political debate unfolds, we welcome the attention that has been paid to three issues of critical importance to all Americans: how to create jobs, speed our economic recovery and avert the certain disaster that would befall America if the fiscal cliff is not properly addressed. With that focus in mind, we write to underscore the importance of the retail industry in our economy and the critical role the industry will play in its revitalization. Indeed, the vibrant economy we all seek cannot exist without a robust retail industry," said Steinhafel and Kennedy in the letters.

The retail industry is America's second-largest private sector employer. Nearly 18 million Americans are employed in retail jobs and 10 million more are reliant on the industry for work. In addition, retailers pay billions of dollars in federal, state and local taxes each year, and collect and remit billions more in sales taxes to state and local governments. While the retail industry's size and contribution to the economy cannot be understated, it is also hypersensitive to economic fluctuations and government regulations.

"[W]hen economic challenges strike or government actions such as harmful regulations and overly burdensome taxes emerge, the harm caused often affects the many individuals and industries reliant on retail. Conversely, when the environment is conducive to growth, entire communities can benefit from the retail industry's success."

"As you advance your vision for growing the economy, we urge you to consider policies that bolster a vibrant retail industry, allowing it to grow, add jobs and better serve consumers."

RILA is the trade association of the world's largest and most innovative retail companies. RILA members include more than 200 retailers, product manufacturers, and service suppliers, which together account for more than $1.5 trillion in annual sales, millions of American jobs and more than 100,000 stores, manufacturing facilities and distribution centers domestically and abroad.

SOURCE Retail Industry Leaders Association