GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. – Midwest retailer Meijer partnered closely with government officials and other retail partners and the Michigan Retailers Association to pass the Michigan INFORM Act today, cracking down on retail fraud conducted through online marketplaces. This is the latest achievement as part of a concerted effort by retailers, consumer advocates and government officials to enact state-level versions of the INFORM Consumers (Integrity, Notification, and Fairness in Online Retail Marketplaces for Consumers) Act introduced in the U.S. Senate in March 2021. Ohio and Illinois passed similar state-level bills earlier this year.
The INFORM Acts require online marketplaces to collect certain information from high-volume third-party sellers to verify the authenticity and legitimacy of the seller and its goods. Prior to the INFORM Acts, online marketplaces weren’t required to verify the authenticity and legitimacy of large third-party sellers, creating a safe-haven for criminal enterprises selling stolen or counterfeit goods online. This particularly impacted small, brick and mortar stores by incentivizing bad actors to steal products from their shelves to sell online with few checks and balances to detect it.
“We’re pleased to have played our part in educating and supporting state officials in the passing of the INFORM Acts in Michigan, Ohio and Illinois,” Meijer Vice President of Asset Protection Paul Jaeckle said. “We know the fraud that will be prevented by these Acts will positively impact brick and mortar retailers and consumers across Michigan, Ohio and Illinois.”
In addition to holding online marketplaces accountable for the goods they sell, the INFORM Acts also require online marketplaces to share seller information with customers. This increased transparency protects consumers from unintentionally purchasing stolen and counterfeit goods. It also gives law enforcement the tools necessary to protect consumers and identify and stop organized retail crime groups.
“By continuing to lend our voice to this important issue in partnership with our fellow retail leaders and customer advocacy groups, we hope to bring these same protections to customers and brick and mortar retailers in states across the Midwest,” Jaeckle said.
About Meijer: Meijer is a Grand Rapids, Mich.-based retailer that operates 262 supercenters and grocery stores throughout Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky and Wisconsin. A privately-owned and family-operated company since 1934, Meijer pioneered the “one-stop shopping” concept and has evolved through the years to include expanded fresh produce and meat departments, as well as pharmacies, comprehensive apparel departments, pet departments, garden centers, toys and electronics. For additional information on Meijer, please visit www.meijer.com. Follow Meijer on Twitter at twitter.com/Meijer and twitter.com/MeijerPR or become a fan at www.facebook.com/meijer.