Iowa Trade Group Voices Support for Local Retailers

DES MOINES, Iowa -- The Iowa Grocery Industry Association (IGIA) based here is speaking up for Iowa retailers that are being attacked in a series of a pro-labor union press conferences across the state.

"Iowa's grocers are an integral part of the neighborhoods and communities in which they serve," said Jerry Fleagle, IGIA president. "In many small towns, the grocery store is far more than a place to purchase food; it is a place for community. Grocers are some of the largest contributors to community, educational and charitable causes. They are not only meeting the needs of their customers, in many communities, they are one of the largest local employers."

Fleagle added that because of the agricultural nature of the state, the grocery industry has always felt a strong kinship within its local communities. As such, he said it was particularly unfortunate that a "vocal few" were attacking a segment of the Iowa economy that provides so much opportunity to so many.

"Whether it's a traditional food store such as Hy-Vee, Fareway, or a small independent, or a convenience store such as Casey's or Kum-and-Go, or even a supercenter such as Wal-Mart," said Fleagle, "Iowans understand the vital role that these businesses play in their local economy. Retail is one of the last bastions where the same person who started as a stock clerk in high school can some number of years later be running the company. Grocers are proud to provide thousands of jobs in the state. From entry level to senior management, retail is still fertile ground for opportunity," Fleagle said.

The statewide trade association represents chain and independent supermarkets, convenience stores, mass merchandisers, wholesalers, brokers, manufacturers, and distributors
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