Two of Minnesota’s own recognized as America’s Retail Champions

The National Retail Federation recognizes Minnesota retail professionals for award

By Rachel Burnham

The National Retail Federation recently recognized Roberta Bonoff of Creative Kidstuff and Lonnie McQuirter of Lonvigson’s Service Center in Minneapolis as “America’s Retail Champions.” They received this recognition due to their advocacy and engagement in the retail industry.

Bonoff is the CEO of Creative Kidstuff, which currently operates seven stores in the Twin Cities, along with licensing another six airport stores and selling toys through e-commerce websites. She has been running the company for just under 17 years and has managed to create a nationally-recognized brand that is known for its fun and imaginative atmosphere. McQuirter is the CEO of Lonvigson’s Service Center in Minneapolis and has been in business for approximately ten years.

As part of the program, both Bonoff and McQuirter are now in the running for NRF’s Retail Champion of the Year to be announced at the 2015 Retail Advocates Summit that will take place on July 28-29. The summit will be in Washington, D.C. and will host America’s Retail Champions, which is an awards and reception program that honors retailers across the nation. The program awards up to 50 small U.S. retailers a trip to Washington and the opportunity to share their retail experiences with Members of Congress. Each year, five of America’s Retail Champions are recognized as finalists, and one Champion of the Year.

According to The Economic Impact of the U.S. Retail Industry, retail supports 1 in 4 American jobs and accounts for 16% of Minnesota’s total GDP. There are 69,574 retail establishments in Minnesota and the industry accounts for 781,953 jobs. The NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association and it represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and Internet retailers from the U.S. and over 45 other countries.