Retail Sales: Background

Publisher Name: 
The Center for Responsive Politics

Retail Sales:
Background


Included in this wide-ranging category are stores
that sell clothing, shoes, electronics, computers, furniture,
appliances and hardware, as well as department and convenience stores,
mail order and vending machine companies and shopping malls. The
industry's undisputed leader in terms of campaign giving is Wal-Mart,
the retail giant that until the past few years chose to stay out of
politics. But controversies surrounding Wal-Mart's impact on
independently owned stores and its treatment of employees have drawn
the company into the political realm. Labor unions have made the
organization of Wal-Mart employees a top priority.

Retail
stores have applauded President Bush's individual and corporate tax
cuts as a way to encourage consumer spending. The industry clamored for
bankruptcy reform - passed early in 2005 - that makes it harder for
consumers declaring bankruptcy to escape entirely from debt.

Among
the industry's top contributors are convenience stores, led by their
main lobby group, the National Association of Convenience Stores. This
industry's main source of profits comes from gasoline and tobacco
sales, thereby pitting it against environmentalists and anti-tobacco
interests.

AMP Section Name:Retail & Mega-Stores