(360) 943-9198 info@retailassociation.org

WIN Articles for July 5, 2018

This rendering shows the design for the energy-efficient "Pax Futura" under construction in Seattle.

This rendering shows the design for the energy-efficient “Pax Futura” under construction in Seattle.

“Pax Futura” demonstrates future retail construction

Mark Johnson, WRA’s Senior VP of Government Affairs, got a glimpse at the future of retail construction on a recent tour as a member of the state Attorney General’s Advisory Committee on Energy, Telecom and Utilities. An energy-efficient building known as Pax Futura, a first of its kind structure in the state, is under construction in Seattle’s Columbia City neighborhood.

Pax Futura follows a German-developed construction method called “Passive House Construction.” This style dramatically reduces energy use up to 90 percent for heating and cooling.  It also provides filtered fresh air for improved health, draft-free thermal comfort and increased quiet and security.

The multi-use building, designed by NK Architects, is a project of Cascade Built. When completed, it will cover 20,100 square feet on four levels.  It will feature a 4-star Built Green and Net Zero Ready rating.  The goal is zero carbon emissions.

Through special construction techniques, including triple glazed windows and the use of state of the art solar for electricity, heating and water heating, the Pax Futura will be a leader in new construction methods.  Mark learned that the additional cost of construction is minimal.

The goal is for Pax Futura to be a model for future construction projects seeking to save money and lower their carbon footprint.  The project is scheduled to be complete by the end of the summer.


Vacation reveals retail vitality at Lake Chelan

 Chief Operating Officer Tammie Hetrick returned from a vacation at Lake Chelan last week encouraged by the vibrant retail climate enjoyed by merchants in the tourist town.

She met with the city’s Chamber of Commerce and spent lots of time shopping and visiting many of the small businesses. Her last trip to Chelan was three years ago.

“I was happy to see real retail growth there,” she said.

A few years ago, Lake Chelan businesses suffered due to smoke from wildfires that reduced tourism to the area.

“It was good to see one of our small towns coming back,” Tammie said. “I saw lots of tourists this year and felt a very positive attitude about business.”

At the invitation of state Representative Mike Steele, R-Wenatchee, Tammie plans to return later this summer to address the Lake Chelan chamber about the lineup of new labor laws businesses must adjust to this year. They include the new sick and safe leave benefit; and new laws ensuring gender-based equal pay, and protection from domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace.

She’s also planning a similar address at the July 17 annual meeting of WRA’s newest affiliate member, the Washington Independent Auto Dealers Association, in Spokane.


New WRA podcast, Ear on Retail, debuts today

Today we welcome you to WRA’s new periodic podcast, Ear on Retail.

The podcast is meant to serve WRA followers who prefer to hear the news rather than read about it. We’re starting our reports with select key stories about retail developments carried in WRA’s weekly e-newsletter. Beyond that, there are numerous ways that Ear on Retail can and may evolve.

We’ve started publicizing and sharing information about the podcast on Twitter and Facebook, our main social media channels. Kindly retweet our posts and invite your friends to give a listen. Please feel free to download the SoundCloud app on your phone to search for Washington Retail, or click the link above to listen to the report on your computer.

Heading forward, you can expect periodic updates each month on the podcast. Meanwhile, we invite your feedback on different ways we can use the podcast to share more information about WRA and the retail industry. Tell us what sort of information you want to hear more about in future podcasts. Please contact Jim Szymanski, Director of Communications, at 360-753-8742 or at jim.szymanski@retailassociation.org.


Retail jobs abound on the internet

Washington State’s retail industry is constantly changing and growing. Economists are predicting the industry will have generated some 50,000 job openings in the five years ending in 2021.

Though retailers do most of their hiring leading up to the end-of-the-year holiday hiring rush, retail opportunities are open year round. The retail industry is always among the more lively industries in the state offering jobs ranging from entry-level part-time jobs to upper-level management positions.

Two great online sources to review openings come courtesy of the National Retail Federation and WorkSource Washington in partnership with the state Employment Security Department.

Click here to review statewide openings courtesy of the National Retail Federation. Look here to search for retail hiring events statewide courtesy of WorkSource Washington.


That which is old becomes new again

By Terry Hopsecger, Director Business Development

With retailers, consumer product companies and e-commerce platforms racing to develop the best systems to anticipate consumer needs and deliver product, they may have forgotten one thing that seems to be the next best thing in retail: the human connection.

What technology cannot fulfill are human needs that remain unmet today and will continue to evolve in the future. One thing we have all learned through our work is that as technological connections grow, so does the human need for meaningful connections.

We have all read about the “experience economy.” What people are actively seeking is intimate connections with other people and finding them in the newly-created retail spaces that attempt to provide the person with a complete experience.

We called that “customer service” in the old days. That which is old becomes new again.

In the next 10 years, specialty, high-touch, human-oriented expertise will become the key differentiator in retail. Stores are already providing smaller footprints allowing shoppers to interact with knowledgeable, highly-specialized associates. The outcome of this change will affect retail associates. They will enjoy a heightened sense of status in retail.

Retailers will be looking for people who are truly passionate about their work and whose enthusiasm is infectious. You can’t replace that with technology.

Retail will offer a wide range of people the opportunity to be genuinely effective in a respected valued occupation.

Washington Retail Association sponsors Retail Month in Washington each September. Check out the WorkSource website as this is a great site to post positions and find resumes from entry level to upper management. Think about hiring in September as that passionate, enthusiastic associate may be waiting for your call.

Let me know what you think. terry@wrasi.com.


lensLens reports on King County’s burgeoning wine industry

Many associate Washington State’s wine industry with the vineyards and ideal grape-growing conditions of eastern Washington.

But the wine industry also is burgeoning in King County since the arrival of Chateau St. Michelle winery in 1976. Since that time, reports the online news source of the Business Institute of Washington, the Woodinville area now is home to some 100 winemakers who draw nearly 800,000 tourists a year to the city 30 minutes north of Seattle.

The article reports that the wine industry’s growth has enhance King County as a tourist destination.


Safety tip of the week

On where to get safety meeting ideas

Washington Labor & Industries requires that every company conduct safety meetings on a regular basis, even if a company has but one employee.

As a Washington Retail Association member, you have access to the RASI SafetyTV channel, where you can instantly stream videos that can be used for your safety meetings and for training new employees. We have assembled them in ‘playlist’ groups such as; lifting and back safety, distracted driving, ladders, and more. You can watch the whole playlist group or can select an individual one to watch. The categories and selection of videos continue to expand as we try to bring you ones that are a best fit to the membership.

These are great supplements to help you with your safety meetings. Consider them like Netflix but with no monthly fees.

RASI Members also have access to the RASI Safety Library, where they can find PowerPoint presentations, handouts and other information on safety topics.

If you need more ideas, give a call to Rick Means, WRA’s Safety Specialist. WRA employs Rick, in part, to be available to members to help draw up safety plans and suggest topics for safety meetings. Contact Rick at 360-943-9198 x18, or rick.means@retailassociationservices.com.


WRA diversity statement

It’s essential to have a holistic strategic plan for diversity and inclusion.  We encourage everyone to consider having a plan that connects with diverse people; creates a diverse workforce; fosters an inclusive work environment where different perspectives are valued; partners to share time, talent, and resources with our staff and with communities; and communicates these values with others.

In principle and in practice, we value access to leadership opportunity regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, age, sexual orientation, nationality, disability, appearance, geographic location, or professional level.  The association strives to accomplish this by serving as a model where we are working to help our staff, our volunteer leaders, our members, and our community embrace these principles.

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