This year’s agenda outlines for the public and policymakers our key issue priorities and focus areas:
- Securing efficient supply chains
- Promoting competition and innovation
- Growing the 21st century retail workforce
- Enhancing the customer experience
- Ensuring safe and affordable products
Trade policies that allow for efficient and reliable supply chainsRetailers rely on complex global supply chains to ensure customers have access to the products they desire at the best possible prices. The ability to access quality, responsibly sourced goods that reach customers by way of an efficient and predictable supply chain is the goal of every retailer. However, public policy and inadequate accountability among other participants interferes with these goals. RILA is working with important stakeholders to reduce barriers to trade and enhance performance throughout the supply chain.
Privacy and data protection laws that protect consumersDespite the rapid transformation of the retail ecosystem over the past two decades, our members’ core business remains straight forward – to sell products and services to customers. To do so, retailers have always sought to know their customers well in order to better serve them. Retailers are deeply invested in these long-term relationships often providing loyalty programs to give longtime and loyal customers benefits. Retailers utilize customer data to administer loyalty programs and provide other consumer benefits that should be considered in the national conversation on privacy. Maintaining strong customer relationships is why we care so deeply about this conversation that we are engaging in today. Retailers support Congress’ leadership in finding a sensible path to set clear privacy expectations for all Americans through federal data privacy legislation.
Payment reforms that enhance competition and transparency
Intense competition is the hallmark of America’s retail industry, driving innovation and bringing consumers lower prices and great products and services. Unfortunately, the absence of competition elsewhere in the retail ecosystem stifles the benefits that naturally result from competition. RILA is committed to engendering competition throughout the retail ecosystem by pursuing policies that curtail anticompetitive business practices and remove roadblocks to innovation.
Criminal justice reforms that address the growing challenge of organized retail crime
Organized Retail Crime (ORC) is a multifaceted problem in need of a comprehensive solution. There is an undeniable connection between the growth of ORC and the ease with which criminals can sell stolen goods through online marketplaces. In a growing number of cases, these organized criminal syndicates are also involved in narcotics and human trafficking. While RILA supports a cooperative dialogue with online marketplaces that encourages system enhancements to prevent, identify, and investigate the sale of stolen goods on their platforms, leading retailers also back new statutes and additional resources for law enforcement to fight the growing epidemic of organized retail crime.
Workplace policies that promote diversity and flexibility
As the nation’s largest private sector employer, retail supports more than 42 million American jobs throughout our diverse ecosystem. From first starts, second chances, and life-long careers, retail provides flexibility, upward mobility, and the power to choose one’s path more than any other industry.
Leading retailers are building a 21st century retail workforce that is diverse, innovative, and skilled. To build this powerful workforce, leading retailers are committed to recruiting and retaining talent with innovative approaches to staffing, scheduling, benefits, and culture.
RILA advocates for forward-thinking workplace policies at both the state and federal level that reflect the preferences and policies we know retail employees prioritize. It is imperative that as the demands of the workforce change, so must retailers, as well as public policy.
For questions about RILA’s government affairs efforts or to learn more, contact RILA Senior Vice President of Government Affairs Austen Jensen.
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