Background

In recent years, retailers have been asked to pay ever-increasing costs of doing business while seeing much of their traditional business shrink. They also have invested heavily in new technology and service delivery models. State and local government should focus on helping with those difficult transitions rather than imposing additional costs on the delivery of goods and services. In 2022, OBI will focus primarily on discouraging the Legislature from adopting new taxes and regulations that increase retailers’ cost of doing business.

 

Policy Objectives

Consumer Protection: Support consumer protection legislation that addresses narrowly defined, specific, and empirically proven dangers and that would make a meaningful difference.

Consumer Privacy: Encourage public policies that support the retail industry’s need to protect consumer privacy while providing the flexibility necessary for the innovative use of data. Our key principles when evaluating privacy legislation will be:

  • Enforcement by the attorney general, not private rights of action
  • Right to cure before enforcement action is taken
  • All entities responsible for consumer data should have the same obligations
  • Preserve customer service, convenience and benefits, including rewards and loyalty programs
  • Regulations should be linked to risk of harm
  • Consumers should have reasonable choice, access, correction and deletion rights with respect to their personal information
  • Retailers should be given compliance flexibility

Crime Prevention

  • Support legislation creating dedicated prosecutors to address organized retail crime
  • Support legislation establishing an attorney general task force to combat crimes related to stealing, embezzling or obtaining by fraud, false pretenses or other illegal means of retail merchandise
  • Support legislation establishing shared resources and information across federal, state and local law enforcement agencies to combat retail crime
  • Support additional funding for law enforcement and prosecution of organized retail crimes

Counterfeit and Stolen Merchandise

  • Support legislation and systems to verify that products sold on online marketplaces have been obtained by legitimate means
  • Support legislation and systems to verify the identity of third-party sellers and require high-volume sellers to disclose contact information to consumers
  • Support legislation that would increase penalties for individuals who manufacture or sell counterfeit merchandise to consumers.

Credit and Finance: Oppose efforts to inhibit the flow of information necessary to render appropriate decisions for every customer and meet their preferences.

 

General Retail Positions

OBI Supports

  • The use of biometric data for drivers’ licenses
  • Manufacturer responsibility for electronic product stewardship recycling
  • A security freeze on credit for victims of identity theft
  • Increased penalties for shoplifting
  • Business flexibility and expanded timelines for implementing new policies

OBI Opposes

  • Expansion of the Unlawful Trade Practices Act
  • Market controls such as policies about price discrimination
  • Point-of-sale purchasing requirements
  • Policies that limits retailer conveniences for customers
  • Bans of specific classes of retailers
  • Packaging bans
  • New labeling laws
  • Pesticide sales reporting
  • Broad manufacturer and retailer product stewardship programs
  • Additional tax burdens on businesses, particularly retailers

COMMITTEE CHAIR:

Deborah Herron, Walmart

Download OBI’s 2022 Policy Principles

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