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87th Texas Legislative Session Priorities

The Texas Retailers Association (TRA) supports a business-friendly regulatory environment. TRA member companies are regulated, licensed, inspected, and taxed by agencies in Texas and appreciate the Legislature’s efforts to continue to make Texas retail friendly. TRA supports regulation that is reasonable and allows our members to continue to provide excellent customer service, top quality products and continued business success in the retail industry. Our members take various approaches to provide these services, and TRA supports their efforts to make those choices independently without unnecessary regulatory burdens imposed by either the state or local governments. 

Additionally, TRA’s members are playing a key role to help our state and local communities deal with the COVID-19 pandemic, and we continue to provide those essential services today. We are keeping our customers and employees healthy and safe, and have been leaders in implementing protocols, procedures, and technology to ensure safe shopping environments. TRA supports the state’s actions during the pandemic and appreciates the broad impact and guidance given by our elected officials during this time.

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NRF Issues Statement about Riots in the Nation's Capital

WASHINGTON, January 6, 2021 – The National Retail Federation today issued the following statement from President and CEO Matthew Shay regarding the attacks on the U.S. Capitol as Congress was meeting to certify Joe Biden’s win in the 2020 presidential election.

“This is a sad and distressing day for our country. For more than two centuries we have prided ourselves as Americans on our democratic principles, our nation of laws and the unique experience of peaceful transfers of power from one administration to the next, regardless of party affiliation.

“Our retailers, the millions of associates they employ and the communities they serve across the country want and need our elected officials to focus on the priorities that ensure faith in our government through stability. Today’s riots are repugnant and fly in the face of the most basic tenets of our constitution, and the Administration must move quickly to provide the leadership that will end this affront to our democracy.”

Courtesy of National Retail Federation 

Message from NGA President and CEO Greg Ferrara

NGA members: In my fifteen years working for NGA, I've encountered quite a few crazy events at the US Capitol. I've had to shelter in place inside the complex during a police shooting, narrowly avoided a landing by a crazy man in a small airplane on the west front lawn of the Capitol, and have navigated thousands of protesters exercising their First Amendment right. I have never seen anything like the events that are taking place at our Capitol building today. 

To see protesters, some armed, storm the chambers of the US Senate and the US House of Representatives, should send chills down the spines of all Americans. These actions threaten our democracy. Part of what makes this country great is even with all of the security threats that America faces, we are still able to petition our elected officials face to face at the Capitol. 

I'm afraid today's actions may make that more difficult in the future and that is a loss for all of us. In a non-pandemic world NGA's government relations staff would likely have been on Capitol Hill, representing your interest, so I'm glad, for once, that COVID has kept our staff safe. I hope you will join me in saying a prayer for our nation this evening that we can tone down the rhetoric and come together as Americans. 

Tomorrow will be a better day in this wonderful country that we are blessed to call home. 



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RILA Statement on Capitol Protests

Washington, DC - RILA President Brian Dodge issued the following statement in response to today's events: 

The events at the US Capitol today were nothing less than an attack on our democracy. At a time when our elected officials were meant to perform a routine yet powerfully symbolic function of the peaceful transfer of power, they were met with a violent mob, incited by the President of the United States and his agents.

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TRA Statement Regarding Events at US Capital

The Texas Retailers Association (TRA) rebukes the attack on the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, DC this afternoon. This type of violence and destruction is unacceptable, regardless of the motivations. TRA members value the First Amendment right we have as Americans to petition our government, and we have enjoyed those opportunities to represent our association and industry in both Washington, DC and here in Austin. Unfortunately, today’s actions by a mob which crossed the line from their right to peaceably assemble to outright threats to public safety and destruction of property, will likely impact how lawfully abiding Americans engage with their government going forward. TRA stands with our national partner organizations in their respective statements below, regarding today’s events. Tonight, our thoughts and prayers are with members of Congress and their staffs, along with law enforcement protecting the Capitol, for their on-going safety and well-being.

BGC Pharmacies to Offer Free COVID-19 Vaccines When Approved

Brookshire Grocery Co., in partnership with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, is actively preparing for the distribution of the COVID-19 vaccines once approved and available for distribution.

As allocated by state officials, Brookshire’s and Super 1 Foods pharmacies will administer the vaccines to the public to support the goal of keeping our communities safe by offering this vaccine at no cost to the patient. Providing this free service will help maximize efforts to stop the spread of the COVID-19 virus. 

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Tom Thumb Opens Deep Ellum Location

The very first customers poured into the store at 6am on Friday, November 6th.

(Dallas, TX) November 6th, 2020 — The shelves are stocked, Starbucks coffee is brewed, delicious baked goods are ready to taste, and the last apple has been tucked into place. Tom Thumb, DFWs grocer since 1948, has opened its newest location in Deep Ellum, Dallas, Texas! The store is located at 2727 Live Oak St, Dallas, TX.

The 56,000 square-foot store is designed to delight and engage today’s shoppers in an urban setting. The store is tailored to the Deep Ellum customer and has so much to offer that shoppers will be delighted every time they visit! The store team, just over 300 associates, are ready to serve customers with the incredible customer service Tom Thumb is known for.

“Tom Thumb is proud to continue to serve North Texas with our newest store in Dallas and we are excited to be part of Deep Ellum,” said Wayne Denningham, President of Albertsons Companies Southern Division, which includes Tom Thumb. “Customers will find the new store has a wealth of amenities, as well as the value, quality, convenience, and excellence in customer service that is synonymous with Tom Thumb,” Denningham said.

Tom Thumb has always prioritized community connection in every neighborhood they serve and Deep Ellum is no exception. The Tom Thumb Foundation has donated $10,000.00 to the Baylor Scott and White Employee 1st Emergency Fund which directly benefits front line medical workers in need of help due to COVID-19. From one Front Line to another, we are proud to help our Baylor Medical Center Neighbors.

Tom Thumb is proud to share THIS VIDEO “SNEAK PEAK” footage highlighting some of the amenities offered throughout the store: 

Click here to read full PRESS RELEASE

TRA Board Transition 2020-2022

As you know, Luke Gustafson with the Brookshire Brothers company, has ably served as TRA’s Board Chairman for the past two years, however his term as chair came to an end on August 31st. We thank Luke for his service to TRA as our Board Chair and appreciate his leadership and contributions to TRA’s success. On September 1st, Theresa Flores with the Mary Kay company, began her two-year term as TRA’s Board Chair. Theresa brings a strong commitment to TRA, as well as years of service on the TRA Board; we look forward to working with her as our Board Chair over the next two years.

Transition of TRA Chairmanship



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TRA Election Endorsements

The Texas Retailers Association and the Texas Retailers Association PAC (TRAPAC) endorse the following members of the Texas Legislature for election in the 2020 general election. TRA/ TRAPAC endorsements are based on professional connection to the retail industry (retailers, vendors, supply chain, etc..), support for the retail industry through legislative votes on issues of importance to Texas retailers, and sponsoring of and/ or championing of legislation important to Texas retailers. Click here for full list.

The Pandemic Has Changed the Way We Shop at Grocery Stores

Grocery stores have really experienced a year like no other.

Stay at home orders put a lot of pressure on the supply chain and the pandemic has formed some new buying habits in shoppers that might be around to stay.

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TRA Remembers Joe Williams

  

Arlon Joe Williams Jr, 71, loved and devoted husband, father, grandfather, brother and uncle passed away on July 25, 2020 from complications of COVID 19. He joins the Great Reunion and we know the Best is yet to come for him. Joe was born in Childress, Texas on June 4, 1949 to Arlon Joe Williams Sr and Peggy Ileyn Compton Williams. He grew up in Memphis, TX and graduated from Plainview High School in 1967 and then graduated from Texas Tech University in 1971 with a BBA.
He began his career with Mrs. Baird’s Bakeries while in college and continued with them until 1992. In 1994, he entered the pinnacle of his career with a move to the Gulf Coast Retailers where he served as President of Regulatory and Member Services until their merge with Texas Retailers Association in January of 2006. He was a member of the American Leadership Forum; the Food Marketing Institute; Government Relations Committee; Food Industry Association Board of Directors; Texas Interagency Task Force; and the Texas Attorney General’s Employer Task Force. He served on the advisory board for the University of Houston’s Retailing and Consumer Science Department. In 2004, he was appointed to the Maternal, Infant, and Fetal Nutrition National Advisory Council and was made chair of the Council for 2006. He also served as the President of his community’s municipal utility district and for many years served on the Board of the non-profit organization SEARCH. One of Joe’s greatest treasures was when he was awarded the NGA Spirit of America Award July 23, 2017. The award is one of the National Grocer Association’s top honors and recognizes individuals for their dedication and service to the independent supermarket industry. Their words still ring true – “Joe was a steadfast advocate for Texas grocers with a long history of serving both the supermarket industry and consumers alike.” Joe retired from the Texas Retail Association in 2018 and was enjoying his retirement from a long and well-respected career.

Joe is survived by the love of his life Jackie Gion Williams and they celebrated their 50th anniversary in October 2018. He is also survived by his daughter, JoLeigh Williams Haupt and husband Rob Haupt and son, Jeremy Clint Williams and wife Krista C. Williams. Poppa as known by most all was the hero of his beautiful grandchildren: Haleigh Rebecca Haupt and fiancée Tyler Kendrick; Holly Renee Haupt; and Harrison Haupt. He is also survived by his adopted children and grandchildren from Norway including Ingunn Hagen and children Stian Samdal and Nora Samdal. Also included in family is Marion and Gwen Gion of Rusk, TX and all the Gion extended family. Joe is also survived by his sister, Cindy Williams McCoy and husband Terry of Sugar Land, TX and sister-in-law Susie Williams Jones and her husband Griff Jones of Odessa, TX. Nieces and nephews include Reagan Williams Whytlaw (Brian), Abby Williams Bishop (Josh) of Odessa, TX. Also included Samuel Justin McCoy (Ashley) and Kelly McCoy Rainbolt (John) of Sugar Land, TX. He and Jackie spent many a day travelling to watch football games, cheerleader events, and any other thing that was requested by Poppa’s grandchildren. All family members would often participate in his love of hunting or fishing. His love of hunting was passed on from Daddy Joe and Joe took it a step further with his deep commitment to the Executive Hunting Club. He was on the board of directors since the 1980’s and enjoyed life- long friendships there.

Joe and Jackie shared a passion for their children, grandchildren, family and Jesus Christ our Lord. They built their rock on His foundation and were tireless in their commitment to their church Christ the King Lutheran Church. Joe and Jackie served in many capacities in the church and their community. One week Joe was leading a youth group mountain climbing in the Rockies and the next week hosting a backyard barbecue for Harrison’s football team. Joe would plan and devote entire family trips to making sure family understood his love of our country and God.

We will miss this man, this legend but know he is enjoying a good round of golf now with our Heavenly family. He was preceded in death by parents Joe and Peggy Williams; brother Nick Williams and many other Heavenly family members. In lieu of customary remembrances, the family requests memorial contributions to the Joe Williams Scholarship Foundation at PO Box 1166 Huffman, Texas 77336, or the charity of your choice.

Joe Williams Celebration of His Life will be held:

Date: September 12, 2020
Time: 11:00am
Location: Christ the King Lutheran Church (Google Map)
                3803 West Lake Houston Parkway
                Humble, Texas 77339

H-E-B Continues To Aid MD Anderson Cancer Center Through Fundraisers

H-E-B is once again joining with The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center in an effort to end cancer in Texas, across the nation and around the world. Through Tuesday, Sept. 8, H-E-B customers can make $1, $3 and $5 donations during H-E-B’s fifth annual statewide fundraising campaign. Since the launch in 2016, H-E-B has raised more than $1 million in support of cancer research and patient programs at MD Anderson.

Donations can be made during checkout at H-E-B stores throughout Texas. New this year, customers also can donate at self-checkout registers and online or via the My H-E-B mobile app.

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Millennials are resurrecting items in stores

Millennials and their spending habits have been accused of killing everything from the idea of the starter home to mayonnaise. 

There are many reasons millennials' preferences differ from those of past generations — for the most part, they entered the job market during the last recession, and many have student loan debt to contend with. 

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Current list of city and county face covering ordinances in Texas

Texas Retailers Association would like to provide as many resources as possible for the retail industry across the state. Please be sure to stay on top of the latest local ordinances by visiting www.txretailers.org regularly. Be sure to like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Thank you!

Current list of city and county face covering ordinances:

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TRA statement on SCOTX decision on Austin PSL

Late on Friday, June 5th, the Texas Supreme Court issued its decision not to hear the city of Austin’s paid sick leave case (PSL), meaning the Austin ordinance is unconstitutional and voided. The city’s ordinance was struck down as unconstitutional by Texas’ Third Court of Appeals in 2019. Therefore, because the Supreme Court declined to hear the case, the Third Court’s ruling stands. 

Texas retailers are pleased the Texas Supreme Court has confirmed the Third Court of Appeals’ ruling on the Austin PSL ordinance. We continue to believe that one size fits all local employment ordinances are unconstitutional, as ruled by the Third Court of Appeals. These mandated employment ordinances are burdensome and hurt job growth. Most retailers in Texas provide quality wage and benefit packages including paid time off. 

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Governor Abbott Reopens Texas Retail

TRA members: 

This afternoon, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced his initial executive orders to re-open the Texas economy from the COVID-19 crisis. Please refer to the Governor’s press release. In the press release you can find the Governor's Executive Orders and details about today's announcements


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Texas Stores Gear up for Retail-to-Go

By Reena Diamante Austin


AUSTIN, Texas — In an effort to get the economy going again, Gov. Greg Abbott is relaxing some restrictions for certain businesses.

“Retail-to-go” is the first phase of re-opening the state's economy for businesses forced to close amid the pandemic. The practice goes into effect Friday and will allow retailers that were deemed non-essential to start doing business again.

The governor's order calls for limited contact with customers by using curbside pickup or delivery services and maintaining social distancing guidelines. But, the big change to a small business is not child’s play. 


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HR and Telemedecine Resources Available from Marsh Wortham

As the country and economy start ramping back up, businesses will struggle with extremely complex human resource decisions. Marsh Wortham has developed additional HR Resources available for TRA members to access in a variety of areas. For example:

• Being cautious not to discriminate against certain classes of employees who may have pre-existing medical conditions;
• Understanding if someone is entitled to unpaid versus paid leave;
• Understanding whether that person may or may not claim unemployment; and,
• Recognizing whether or not the individual can be terminated.
• Conducting Onsite Health Screenings



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Governor Abbot allows retailers to reopen for to-go or delivery only

TRA members: 

Earlier today, Texas Governor Greg Abbott laid out the state’s plans for re-opening the Texas economy from the COVID-19 crisis. Attached is the Governor’s press release. In the press release you can find the Governor's Executive Orders and details about today's announcements.

As part of his plan he issued an executive order today which amends the current Texas “stay at home order” for the retail sector. Today’s order allows for those retailers who are not covered by DHS/CISA guidance, essentially, those who were up to now not deemed essential, to reopen for to-go or delivery only, as of next Friday, April 24th. Today’s order does not change the operations of those retailers who have been operating as current essential businesses such as grocery, pharmacy, home improvement, etc… Therefore, as of next Friday, April 24th, the entire retail sector in Texas will be allowed to operate at some level.


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Injunction issued on Dallas PSL ordinance

Despite all we are all going through with the fight against and response to the COVID-19 crisis, this morning we received some good news from another battle TRA has been waging on your behalf. TRA and its fellow members of the Alliance for Securing and Strengthening the Economy in Texas (ASSET) coalition have secured an injunction by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas of the city of Dallas’ paid sick leave ordinance (PSL), which was set to begin enforcement on April 1 (tomorrow).

As we have maintained all along, it is our belief that retailers are committed to the well being of their employees, whether that’s implementing policies to protect employee health and safety, providing benefits or working to ensure they can make payroll so employees can take care of themselves and their families. One-size-fits-all policies of these regulations across Texas does nothing but create uncertainty in our economy, which is the last thing employees, employers and job seekers need in the wake of this unprecedented national crisis. Therefore, Texas retailers welcome the federal court’s ruling today on the Dallas PSL ordinance, and look to the Texas Supreme Court to rule in our favor on the Austin PSL ordinance, so that these local PSL can be ruled unconstitutional statewide.

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