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Wednesday, July 17, 2013   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Sarah Reader
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The National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA) and National Shoe Travelers (NST) have formed a strategic partnership that will focus on education programs for footwear sales representatives and membership programs that will be beneficial to both associations.

NSRA is the oldest and largest trade association in the footwear industry; last year, NSRA celebrated its first century of providing a variety of education programs and financial services to shoe retailers. NST was founded in 2006 to significantly improve the abilities and well-being of traveling sales representatives in the footwear and related goods industry.

NSRA will offer specific programs and benefits to all interested shoe travelers, such as regular NSRA literature including its flagship magazine, Shoe Retailing Today, and the bi-weekly "NSRA OnLine.” Travelers will also be invited to attend NSRA conferences and events at NSRA-member prices. NST members will help keep their customers informed on NSRA events and programs and when appropriate, will encourage their retailers to take part in NSRA and joint-association activities.

"We believe that our members will benefit from working with sales reps who understand, and are receptive to, the needs of independent retailers,” said NSRA president Chuck Schuyler in announcing the agreement. "NSRA will also benefit by increased industry visibility and the opportunity to expand our network of ambassadors.”

NST president Terry Bastis agreed, noting, "NST's main objective in 2013 is to take the organization to the next level, while providing fraternal support of fellow sales reps on the road. As we work with NSRA to provide education programs and membership benefits, our respective groups can gain insights into how the other works, and how to strengthen each other as business people.”

"We're delighted to tap into NSRA's century of experience in meeting member needs, and combine it with our own goals of helping shoe reps in every way we can,” says Meaghan Lawson, NST executive director. "We'll get a clearer sense of the pulse of the independent retailing community, while we provide retailers and their sales staffs a clearer understanding of how top-line reps can assist retailers with their business. It's a win for the members of both associations.”

Among the many benefits NSRA offers retailers are:

· Sales trend reporting, by product and brand

· Financial analysis of the independent channel

· The industry’s lowest-cost bankcard processing and freight discounts

· Information resources

· Education events and networking opportunities.

Among the benefits NST offers members are:

· Individual tiered life insurance policies, $15,000 to $25,000 depending on age

· Partnership with the Two Ten Job Portal

· Access to NST's general counsel for advice in legal matters

· Shipping discounts and complimentary cart service for FN PLATFORM at Magic.

NST also established a $1.5 million endowment fund through the Two Ten Foundation to assist members in times of critical need or financial hardship. The endowment is a tangible expression of both Two Ten's self-description, "shoe people helping shoe people,” and NST's commitment to "shoe reps helping shoe reps.”

All sales reps, regardless of affiliation, are encouraged to contact NST or NSRA for program details and opportunities.

NST's offices are at 333 South State Street, Lake Oswego, OR 97034, telephone 855-556-9678, website http:// NSRA is headquartered at 7386 N. La Cholla Boulevard, Tucson, AZ 85741, telephone 520-209-1710, website

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