WAYNE MULLER INDUCTED INTO NSRA HALL OF FAME
Friday, December 11, 2015
Posted by: NSRA
TUCSON, AZ (December 9, 2015) – On November 20, 2015, the National Shoe Retailers Association inducted Wayne Muller into its Hall of Fame during the association's 2015 Annual Leadership Conference.
Muller, a third generation footwear retailer, initially joined his father in the shoe business in the 1950s after graduating with a degree in business from University of Michigan and serving as an officer in the National Guard. They expanded the business to four locations, and welcomed Muller's brother Paul into the business with them. In 1972, as Muller's Family Shoe Stores' retail success grew, Wayne Muller was elected to NSRA's Board of Directors, serving on nearly every committee and eventually chairing four of them. He was elected vice chairman of the Board and then, in 1982, chairman; during his two terms as chairman, he spearheaded NSRA's efforts to assist independent footwear retailers in handling inventory by computer. He also led development of NSRA's Professional Selling manual and, working with then-executive director/NSRA president Bill Boettge, Muller and the Board increased NSRA's membership more than 300 percent.
In 1992, Muller “retired” from the shoe business, selling his holdings to Paul, who continued the business their grandfather started in 1913. Shortly thereafter, Wayne Muller bowed to requests from a variety of retailers and footwear manufacturers to provide them with consulting services. Although he focused most of his efforts on Grand Rapids – where he founded the Family Business Alliance, which today has 147 family-owned businesses as members, and helps them transition from one generation to the next – Muller continued to volunteer on behalf of NSRA. In 1997, he helped initiate NSRA's “When the Shoe Fits: The Basics of Professional Shoe Fitting” program (WSF), a half-day course that taught more than 5,000 sales associates to understand customers' footwear needs based on their worn shoes, to measure both feet and compensate for differences between the left and right ones, and to fit shoes properly and explain shoe characteristics to information-hungry customers. WSF students returned to the sales floor with increased abilities, greater product knowledge, higher customer service skills and improved career potential. The course was supplemented by a 126-page textbook that enabled attendees to review their hands-on lessons and begin to demonstrate them as mentors to other sales associates.
Muller traveled to dozens of cities as a WSF instructor, working most frequently with Boettge and the late Seymour Lefton, owner of Happy Feet in Albuquerque, NM.
To keep abreast of current retailing and the needs of both retailers and footwear manufacturers, Muller routinely attended NSRA conferences, sometimes serving as a speaker or moderator.
Paul Muller, also a former chairman of NSRA's Board of Directors, was honored to announce Wayne's selection, and provided conference attendees with a brief but rousing description of his brother's career highlights.
In accepting induction into NSRA's Hall of Fame, Muller acknowledged his wife Cynthia and thanked NSRA members for their many years of help and friendship, which he said he treasures to this day.
About NSRA's Hall of Fame
NSRA inaugurated its Hall of Fame in 2012 as part of the association's centennial celebration. Members include 15 retail greats both current and past. They are:
- William Boettge, president of NSRA 1984-2003 (currently, executive director of The Pedorthic Foundation)
- Bill Douglas, Bill Douglas's Shoe Box, Sugar Land, TX
- Margot Fraser, Founder, Birkenstock USA
- Jerry Levin, Lebo's, Inc., Charlotte, NC
- Ron W. Scott, Gentlemen's Jodhpur, Washington D.C. (currently, CEO of Retail Strategies, LLC)
as well as the late
- Theodore Altier, Altier & Sons, Inc., Rochester, NY
- Terry Armstrong, Co-founder, San Antonio Shoemakers
- William Burnett, Burnett Shoes, Union City, TN
- Harry Jubelirer, Reyers Shoe Store, Sharon, PA
- Lloyd W. Nordstrom, Co-founder, Nordstrom, Inc., Seattle, WA
- Howard Penn, Puritan Clothing Company of Cape Cod, Hyannis, MA
- William Rossi, D.P.M., author and footwear historian
- Joseph Shell, president of NSRA 1975-1983
- Al Singer, Bay City Shoes, Bay City, MI
- Stanley Strum, Leon's Fashions, Waco, TX
Induction into the Hall of Fame takes place during NSRA's Awards Banquet, held during the association's Annual Leadership Conference each November. Photos and brief biographies of NSRA Hall of Fame members are available on the association's website, www.nsra.org, and at its headquarters in Tucson, AZ.
NSRA was founded in 1912 to represent independent shoe retailers and provide their companies with business services, education programs and information resources that help them remain profitable and at the leading edge of retail. For more information, please visit www.nsra.org.
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