News Releases

Today, Georgia Retailers announced the addition of Stephen Loftin to its lobby team for the 2022 Legislative Session. Loftin has 26 years of experience successfully representing the business community in Georgia having served in government affairs capacities with organizations such as the Georgia Chamber of Commerce, the Regional Business Coalition, and the Georgia Cable Association before opening Loftin Public Affairs in 2019.

“I am excited for the opportunity to represent an organization that is as respected as Georgia Retailers,” said Loftin “I look forward to working with members and our partners to continue to protect and enhance Georgia’s retail industry.”

Loftin has championed numerous legislative and regulatory initiatives on behalf of clients which have resulted in cost savings and better operating environments for the business community. He will work alongside members and state officials to lead the association’s strategic initiatives and advocate for sound policy on behalf of Georgia’s retail industry.

Stephen Loftin began his career in 1994 as an aide to the Senate Minority Caucus and worked his way through the ranks amassing legislative victories on issues related to natural gas, telecommunications, tax policy, transportation and education.

For Stephen’s Bio click here.

It is with great sadness that we share the news of the passing of Georgia Retailers’ Executive Director Kyle Jackson. Kyle passed away unexpectedly on December 9th. While he had only recently joined the GR team, Kyle had hit the ground running and had already been in touch with many of you.

A graduate of Ohio State University, Kyle was a seasoned association manager, lobbyist and political strategist. He was excited about representing Georgia’s retailers and had a lot to offer our organization. Kyle leaves behind two young children-his son and daughter.

Please keep his family in your thoughts during the coming days and weeks as they mourn the loss of a son, father, and dear friend.

NOVEMBER 10, 2021
CONTACT: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (614) 795-3177

Atlanta, GA – This week, the Georgia Retailers announced Kyle Jackson as their new executive director, effective immediately. Jackson joins Georgia Retailers from UnitedHealth Group, where he previously served as Vice President of External Affairs for Georgia and Alabama. 

Jackson brings a wealth of experience in government relations and grassroots advocacy with specialized expertise in association management, political fundraising and strategy.


“I am excited to join the Georgia Retailers team and advocate on behalf of the 120,000 retailers in the state," said Kyle Jackson. "We will work together with the Georgia Legislature and our partners to provide a strong voice for the retail industry. I look forward to continuing to grow our association and serve the state of Georgia."

With over a decade of experience in Georgia's business industry, Jackson will work alongside state and federal officials to target key issues in the retail sector and lead the organization’s strategic initiatives. In addition to advocating for the retail sector and good policy, Jackson will also manage the organization's political action committee.

Jackson has been involved with the Georgia retail industry since 2009 when he joined the South region team of the National Federation of Independent Business (NFIB). His prior positions included interim executive director of Georgians for Lawsuit Reform, vice president of state and political affairs for the Georgia Chamber of Commerce and Georgia state director of NFIB. 

Kyle Jackson has served the state in various positions and appointments over the years. He served on the Legislative Advisory panel for the Georgia Board of Workers' Compensation to help develop legislative reforms to workers' compensation statutes. 

He also served as a member of Attorney General Chris Carr's Opioid Taskforce, worked on Governor Nathan Deal's Health Insurance Exchange Advisory Board and participated in Georgia Environmental Protection Division's Small Business Compliance Assistance Program.

Jackson is a graduate of Ohio State University, where he received two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and in Anthropology. 


Since 1961, the Georgia Retailers have been the premier statewide trade association representing retailers -- the businesses that sell directly to consumers. Georgia’s retailers provide over 888,000 jobs at over 120,000 retail establishments in the state, and pay more than $23 billion in wages annually. Georgia’s retailers collect and remit more than $6 billion in sales taxes for Georgia’s government each year.


Friday, 11 October 2019 14:56

Georgia Retailers Advisory Board Elections

At our recent membership meeting in Savannah, GA, the Georgia Retailers elected a dynamic and exciting slate of officers. They are:

  • Chairman: Heather Kennedy, VP of Government Relations, The Home Depot
  • Vice Chairman: Glen Wilkins, Sr. Director of Public & Government Affairs, Walmart
  • Secretary: Sally West, Regional Director of State Government Relations, Walgreens
  • Treasurer: Tommy Culligan, Director of Government Relations, Publix Supermarkets

This group of seasoned retail professionals brings to the organization a wealth of industry experience and knowledge. We are in an exciting time at the Georgia Retailers, and look forward to the energy and leadership this group will bring to the Georgia’s premier retail industry association.

For Immediate Release:May 6, 2019
CONTACT:James Miller, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., (850)701-3015

Highest spending amount ever expected this year as families celebrate moms with gifts, jewelry, events, flowers andmore

ATLANTA, GA -The Georgia Retailers (GR), the state’s premier trade association representing retailers for over 50 years, says record spending is expected for this Mother’s Day as per person spending should come close to $200. Total spending nationally is expected to exceed $25 billion, also a record.

“Mother’s Day has traditionally been one of the highest per person spending events, and this year is no different as we expect records to be broken both locally and nationally,” said Georgia RetailersPresident & CEO R. Scott Shalley. “Georgia residents are excited to celebrate mothers, and we are eager to see how our Peach State retail members respond to this record-setting demand for gifts, jewelry, flowers and more.”

Mother’s Day spending is expected to total a record $25 billion this year, up from $23.1 billion in 2018, according to GR's partners at the National Retail Federation’s recent survey. A total 84 percent of U.S. adults are expected to celebrate in honor of their mothers and other women in their lives.

While the number of people celebrating Mother’s Day is in line with last year's86 percent, those celebrating are expected to spend more at an average $196 compared with $180 in 2018. Consumers ages 35-44 are likely to spend the most at an average of $248, up from $224, and men are likely to spend more than women at $237 compared with $158.

Newer models of gift-giving including special outings and gift cards are growing, in addition to more traditional gifts including flowers, greeting cards, and jewelry. Increased spending on jewelry represents 31 percent of the expected increase over last year.

According to the survey, consumers plan to purchase the following for Mother’s Day:

Gift category

Percent planning to purchase

Expected average
per person spending*

Expected total spending*

Greeting card(s)



$843 million




$2.6 billion

Special outing



$4.6 billion

Gift card(s) & certificates(s)



$2.6 billion

Clothing or clothing accessories



$2.3 billion




$5.2 billion

Personal service



$2 billion

Housewares or gardening tools



$1.1 billion

Books or CDs



$544 million

Consumer electronics



$2.2 billion




$950 million

(* These are national numbers)

Many of those celebrating cited finding something unique (44 percent) as the most important factor when picking out a Mother’s Day gift, followed by one that creates a special memory (39 percent). More than 8 in 10 (81 percent) indicate they will look to retailers for gifting inspiration.

Since 1961, Georgia Retailers has been working on behalf of the retail community to unite and pursue the common goal of creating the best environment for retailing in Georgia. Retail supports 1 out of 4 jobs in the state and is directly and indirectly responsible for 78% of Georgia's gross domestic product. The Georgia Retailers is a division of the Florida Retail Federation.

NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association, representing discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries. Retail is the nation’s largest private-sector employer, supporting one in four U.S. jobs — 42 million working Americans. Contributing $2.6 trillion to annual GDP, retail is a daily barometer for the nation’s economy.


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