RILA members arrive in Joplin, Mo., to help cleanup efforts
ARLINGTON, Va. — Members of the Retail Industry Leaders Association on Wednesday arrived in Joplin, Mo., to help clean up the Midwest city that was hard-hit in May by a category F-5 tornado.
“In the weeks after the tornado, we heard first-hand from our members who operate in the Joplin area about the enormity of this disaster and its devastating effect on their employees and the thousands of customers they serve,” the association posted in a July 11 blog. “We heard stories of heroic actions taken by retail associates during the storm, as well as stories of great generosity from retailers in the immediate aftermath. Our thoughts quickly turned to how we too could help.”
Toward that end, RILA and its members joined with Operation Blessing to host a large-scale cleanup. More than 250 volunteers from America’s leading retailers are on hand in Joplin through Friday to help with the cleanup and rebuilding efforts already under way.
Participants include members of the RILA Workplace Safety Committee and Disaster Recovery and Preparedness Committee, and local field-level associates from among RILA’s retail members, including Dollar General, Lowe’s, The Home Depot, Kmart, Sears, Target, Walgreens and Walmart.
“We at RILA want to express our unending support as companies and communities move forward in the aftermath of this devastating national disaster,” RILA posted. “RILA and our members will continue to be there to lend our assistance as relief efforts move ahead.”
June sales beat expectations
WASHINGTON — Warm weather, lower gas costs and strong Father’s Day promotions apparently put consumers in a spending mood in June, boosting retail sales for the 12th consecutive month and surpassing many analysts’ expectations, according to the National Retail Federation.
Retail industry sales — which exclude automobiles, gas stations and restaurants — in June increased 0.3% seasonally adjusted from May, and 5.5% unadjusted year-over-year, according to NRF.
"A solid year of growth in sales provides further evidence that retailers continue to lead the charge in the economic recovery," stated NRF president and CEO Matthew Shay. "While spending continues to surpass expectations, sustained growth in the retail sector depends on a strong labor market."
"With the summer season well under way, retailers are hoping this momentum continues through the back-to-school season," added NRF chief economist Jack Kleinhenz. "Knowing that shoppers remain concerned about the economy, companies have already begun offering aggressive promotions to entice shoppers."
June retail sales released on Thursday by the U.S. Commerce Department showed total retail sales — which include such nongeneral merchandise categories as autos, gas stations and restaurants — increased 0.1% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 8.4% unadjusted year-over-year.
Specific sales results include:
Health and personal care stores sales decreased 0.2% seasonally adjusted over May, but increased 3.9% unadjusted year-over-year;
The onset of summer helped boost sales of apparel and garden equipment and supplies. Clothing and clothing accessories stores’ sales increased 0.7% seasonally adjusted over May, and 7.6% unadjusted year-over-year. Sales at building material and garden equipment stores increased 1.3% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 8.5% unadjusted over last year;
Sales at electronic and appliance stores decreased 0.2% seasonally adjusted month-to-month, and 2.3% unadjusted from last year; and
Home furnishings stores sales decreased 0.8% seasonally adjusted over May, and increased 0.2% unadjusted year-over-year.
Dewayne Rabon named GMDC Education Leadership Council chairman, joins GMDC board
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — After serving a two-year tenure on the GMDC Education Leadership Council, Dewayne Rabon, Winn-Dixie Stores VP general merchandise/HBC/family care, was named the ELC chairman in January 2011, and joined the GMDC board of directors at that time, GMDC announced last week.
"Dewayne brings an impressive general merchandise, health, beauty, wellness and center store experience at the retail level," stated Dave McConnell, GMDC president. "He will provide thought leadership in these areas for GMDC, and we look forward to his continued involvement in his role as chairman of the ELC, as well as his new officer role."