Retail Register No. 359, March 2015

CRMA poll on Chicago’s mayoral race shows Emanuel with decent lead

Undecided voters seem to be swaying towards reelecting incumbent Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel over his opponent, Jesus “Chuy” Garcia.  The Chicago Retail Merchants Association (CRMA), a committee of IRMA, recently released findings from a poll of likely voters conducted in late February that indicates Emanuel is at or over the 50 percent required to win the Chicago mayoral election.

The poll results find Emanuel at 48.65 percent, Garcia at 37.72 percent with undecided voters at 13.63 percent. However, when undecided voters were asked to make a decision, nearly 21 percent chose Emanuel while 15 percent picked Garcia.

The mayor holds a commanding lead among likely female voters but his lead is narrow among males. In addition, when asked who would be better at creating jobs, Emanuel leads with women and his support among men jumps substantially. Likewise, the mayor has a healthy lead among likely African-American and Caucasian voters. Garcia, however, holds a large lead among Hispanics; the candidates are split among Asian voters.

The poll was conducted by We Ask America on Wednesday, February 25, collecting responses from 1,138 likely voters with a margin of error of ±2.91 percent.

“While this poll was conducted six weeks before Election Day, it appears that Mayor Emanuel is in a strong position with likely Chicago voters,” said Rob Karr, president/CEO of CRMA and IRMA. “When voters are asked about their perception of which candidate would be better at creating new jobs in Chicago, the numbers mirror each candidate’s overall support, indicating this is a major factor in voters’ opinions.”

1.     As you may know, Rahm Emanuel and Chuy Garcia will run against each other in a mayoral runoff election on April 7th.  If that election were held today, for whom would you vote?

Rahm Emanuel: 48.65%      Chuy Garcia:  37.72%             Undecided: 13.63%


2.      (Only asked to “undecided” voters:) Even though you haven’t decided who you’ll vote for, we’d like to know if you’re LEANING toward voting for either candidate.

 Rahm Emanuel: 20.89%       Chuy Garcia:  15.46%        Undecided: 63.65%


3.      Which candidate for mayor do you think would be better for creating new jobs in Chicago? 

Rahm Emanuel: 49.12%        Chuy Garcia:  34.66%         Undecided: 16.22%

Poll Methodology

Demographic information recorded in the poll provided data to normalize (weight) the results to provide the most accurate results that account for ethnic origin, gender over/under-sampling.  Our sampling methodology ensures that We Ask America poll results are projectable, meaning that if every telephone in a given geography was dialed, the results would not differ from the reported poll results by more than the stated margin of error at a 95 percent confidence level (the industry standard), were the same survey taken repeatedly.  For this case, results with a margin of error of ±2.91 percent at the 95 percent confidence level means that if the same survey were conducted 100 times, then 95 times out of 100 the results would not vary in either direction by more than 2.91 percent in either direction.

IRMA makes its mark in the social media world

The Illinois Retail Merchants Association now has an active presence in the social media world with accounts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.  “Social media is an important component in building IRMA’s brand, keeping those already engaged with our organization informed and attracting new interest,” said Rob Karr, IRMA president and CEO. “We see social media as a great opportunity to educate about the importance of the Illinois retail industry.”

Through social media outlets, IRMA will be able to provide real time updates on developments at the Illinois Capitol and Chicago City Council, as well as share important news, facts and updates about issues pertaining to the retail industry.  We will also use social media to showcase our members, but we need your help on that!  See the Feature Friday article for more details on how you can get involved.

IRMA Showcases Illinois Retailers on social media with #Feature Friday

Mall photoWe are leveraging IRMA’s social media efforts on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to give your business extra exposure while educating Illinoisans about the importance of the Illinois retail industry.

Each week we have Feature Friday (#FeatureFriday) where we are showcasing one IRMA retailer on our three social media pages. We’re highlighting significant milestones, store anniversaries, grand openings, accomplishments, recognitions, facts or any other interesting information you are willing to share about your business.  A pertinent picture from your business makes these posts complete and much more memorable!

Email to share your story, fun fact, interesting development, etc. and a picture. Once we have drafted the posts, we will be sure to get your stamp of approval. This won’t take more than a few minutes of your time. We greatly appreciate your participation.

Check out our social media pages to see some of our recent Feature Friday posts!

Twitter: @ILRetail

Facebook: Illinois Retail Merchants Association

Instagram: @ilretail

IRMA adds new team member

Alexia CesaroneThe Illinois Retail Merchants Association would like to welcome Alexia Cesarone to our staff! Starting in late March, Alexia will serve as the manager of member relations based in IRMA’s Chicago office.

Alexia comes to IRMA from the Northstar Lottery Group where she served as a corporate affairs specialist. In that role, Alexia specialized in community outreach as well as internal and external communications.  She also created and implemented an internship program.

Alexia is a graduate of Purdue University.  She currently resides in Geneva with her husband, Nick.

IRMA, law enforcement officials team up in the fight against meth

rob nflexIRMA is helping law enforcement in their fight against meth. Partnering with Appriss, Inc., the company behind the National Precursor Log Exchange (NPLEx), free trainings for law enforcement are being conducted around the state. The trainings provide law enforcement the opportunity to learn about NPLEx and the many tools it contains that can significantly assist them in their efforts to control meth. Prior to each training, local media is given the opportunity to learn about the tools NPLEx provides and the significant impact it is having on blocking illegal purchases of pseudoephedrine. NPELx blocks the illegal purchases will allowing law-abiding citizens with legitimate needs to obtain the medicine they require.

 Save the Date: Business Day in Springfield

Business Day will be held in Springfield on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.  The luncheon starts at noon with keynote speech from Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner.

After the luncheon, visit the Illinois State Capitol to meet with policy makers.  At 5 p.m., the party under the tent will start near the IRMA office.  A formal invite and details will follow; we hope to see you there!

Full-tuition scholarships available to retail employee

Retail industry employees who want to boost their careers through higher education can apply for scholarships offered by the National Retail Federation (NRF) and the University of Phoenix School of Business. There are 20 full-tuition scholarships are available to retail employees through the Dream BIG Scholarship. Eligible applicants must reside in the United States and work full or part-time for a retail or restaurant company and meet additional criteria.

The stories shared by the hundreds of 2014 Dream BIG applicants demonstrate the fulfilling and challenging career paths available for retail professionals who work hard and want to move up in their organizations.

“Behind every great retail brand are great retail workers – truly the heart and soul of our industry and the fuel that keeps the fires going for hundreds of thousands of businesses throughout the country,” said NRF President and CEO Matthew Shay. “Many of these individuals share a common goal to grow personally and professionally in the retail industry and we want to help them get there. The Dream BIG Scholarship is more than just an opportunity to earn a degree, it’s a chance to help people recognize their full potential and prosper in their career path.”

“The multi-faceted retail industry moves at a fast pace and needs professionals who can grow with their organizations,” said Ruth Veloria, executive dean for University of Phoenix School of Business. “The retail sector employs millions of Americans, and as technology and consumer preferences evolve, University of Phoenix is committed to preparing the next generation of retail leaders with education that is aligned to industry needs. The industry offers many diverse and rewarding career paths and the scholarship was created to help retail employees realize their full potential and meet evolving employer needs.”

Visit to apply and learn more about the program. Applications are being accepted through March 31, 2015.

Illinois retailers encouraged to push for new Marketplace Fairness Act

U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL) has once again joined forces with U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-WY) and an array of bi-partisan co-sponsors to try and level out the rules for brick-and-mortar retailers and their internet competitors when it comes to the collection of sales tax. This proposal mirrors the language that passed the U.S. Senate last year with nearly 70 votes only to stall in the U.S. House.

IRMA President and CEO Rob Karr encourages members of the Illinois retail industry to ask U.S. Senator Mark Kirk (R-IL) to support the newly filed Marketplace Fairness Act of 2015 and sign-on as a co-sponsor. IRMA applauds Durbin for being a sponsor of the legislation and his continued support of the Illinois retail industry. “This act will help level the playing field for online retailers and brick-and-mortar stores,” said Karr. “What’s not fair is continuing to allow Internet sellers to avoid collecting and remitting the sales tax and the negative impact that has on local stores, their employees, and the Illinois economy.”

Since sales tax amounts to 10 percent in some areas, Main Street retailers report seeing more evidence of customers buying online to avoid paying tax. Many local retailers say they deal with “showrooming,” where consumers come to their stores to look at merchandise in person, then order it online. And some smartphone apps make it easier for shoppers to avoid paying sales tax by allowing them to scan product bar codes to see where they can buy items via the internet.

The National Retail Federation (NRF) strongly believes that the disparity in sales tax rules undermines not only Main Street retailers but also the communities they support. “The billions of dollars in lost sales tax is revenue badly needed by cash-strapped state and local governments to pay the salaries of essential workers such as police officers, firefighters, ambulance crews, and schoolteachers,” said Mike Cys, NRF’s VP of state and political affairs. “Those public workers are among retailers’ customers, and when customers lose their jobs retailers lose sales.  It’s time to pass sales tax fairness.”