Retail Impact on Communities

In most communities, retailers play an obvious role: selling products customers want and need, when they want and need them. But as the trade association for America’s retail leaders, we know that retailers are so much more than a store; retailers are part of the community. 

For the high school student looking to earn their first paycheck, retailers offer a first job opportunity with flexible hours to accommodate study time. For towns bracing for and recovering from natural disasters, retailers often serve as crucial suppliers and first responders. For veterans and military service members, retailers offer support and opportunity. 

Relief Efforts

With stores and associates in communities large and small throughout the U.S., retailers are uniquely positioned to play an important role in both disaster preparedness and recovery. From hurricane season to unexpected events, retailers are always ready to answer the call in the wake of disaster and ensure people have the support and resources they need to weather the storm.

  • Home Depot’s Hurricane Plan Includes 35 Truckloads of Generators – Bloomberg
  • Lowe’s sending supplies to the coast in preparation for Hurricane Dorian – WBTV
  • When Natural Disasters Near, Team Target Springs Into Action – A Bullseye View

In times of need, RILA works closely with our retail member companies, federal agencies, and local partners to help ensure employees and customers are out of harm’s way and that they have access to lifesaving supplies quickly and efficiently. 

“Retailers are often the front line of relief for those in need. Whether it’s providing water, fuel, shelter, or life-saving medicine, retailers do everything they can to help their associates, customers and the communities they serve rise up after the storm."

Lisa LaBruno
  • Executive Vice President, Retail Operations and Innovation
  • Washington, DC

Supporting our Veterans

Retailers recognize the value of military service and understand the importance of honoring those who have given so much for our country. In addition to offering military discounts to veterans and active-duty military service members, several RILA members have dedicated veteran-focused initiatives they lead throughout the year to show ongoing support for those who have served.

And as one of the nation’s largest employers, many retailers have made robust commitments to hiring more veterans, service members, and military spouses, and as with all employees, offer clear paths for growth to veterans looking to build a career in retail. 

  • Walmart doubles up goal in veterans hiring program – Memphis Business Journal
  • How Walgreens Has Stepped It Up and Hired More Veterans – Triple Pundit

Industry of Opportunity 

With acknowledgment of their roles as pillars of the community and employers that help drive economic growth, retailers are making significant investments in young members of the community. By participating in events like collegiate hackathons and global retail challenges, retailers are engaging directly with future talent to outline the opportunities that exist in the retail industry and to help provide a path forward.

  • Best Buy opens fifth Teen Tech Center in St. Paul – Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal
  • Gap expands entry-level program to help make staff more diverse – LA Times
  • Dollar General wants to attract – and keep – the best – Chain Store Age

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