The Louisiana Retailers Association led an initiative this year to pass Act 316, legislation that will make it more difficult for thieves to sell stolen goods online. According to Jessica Elliott, executive director of the LRA, the measure will increase online marketplace transparency for consumers and ensure verification of high-volume online sellers.
“Grocers have made significant investments to combat organized retail crime, but criminals will continue to take advantage of any opportunity to sell stolen goods if they can do so anonymously,” Elliott said.
The LRA also led opposition to a measure that would have banned single-use plastic bags in the state. The bill was defeated in committee.
“Senate Bill 155 would have required our member stores to eliminate plastic bags, limiting the options to either paper or reusable bags with stitched handles,” Elliott explained. “As a result of long-term supply chain disruptions and inflationary pressures, the costs of these alternative products have risen sharply.
“Moreover, there is a nationwide shortage of paper bags that predates the COVID-19 pandemic and is expected to last for at least the next several years. For many businesses, switching to paper would be cost-prohibitive, even if they could access supply.”
She added that there also are delays and disruptions driving up the cost of alternative reusable bags with stitched handles.
“While we recognize and acknowledge the concerns about litter and waste, research from Keep America Beautiful finds that plastic grocery bags account for less than 1 percent of items collected during litter clean ups,” Elliott said. “If communities have litter problems, local governments should enforce laws against littering, not ban products our shoppers rely on every day.”
In addition to monitoring legislation that affects the grocery industry, Elliott emphasized that the association is a resource for its members when they face uncertainty and need answers,
“The LRA staff acts as a liaison between our members and the numerous regulatory agencies that grocers are required to deal with on a regular basis,” she said.
“We encourage our members to reach out to the LRA to allow us to assist them as they seek answers to general retail related questions, including compliance issues, WIC and SNAP questions, alcohol and tobacco issues, sales tax inquiries and more.”
For more information, visit laretail.org.