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No business like shoe business Featured

1:11pm EDT June 22, 2004
It's been another busy year for Lucky Shoes President Tom Luck.

Lucky Shoes is opening a new Ecco concept store this month at Legacy Village, it is negotiating three other leases, and three of Lucky Shoes' footwear solutions shops have been approved by Medicare for the Therapeutic Shoe Bill for Diabetics.

As a member of the National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA) board, Luck is working to create a buying group that imports shoes from Brazil, Spain, Italy and Portugal and improves the products with better latex rubber outsoles, leather linings and uppers.

"We're able to make a longer margin, but we're selling a better shoe to the consumer for less than the branded product would be," he says.

He also serves on the NSRA's vendor-retailer relationship committee and is working with key vendors to develop their product so they can make fewer patterns and sell more shoes to retailers. This, in turn, will increase the retailers' bottom line and continue to give consumers the best value. Luck also met recently with executives from Rockport, Clarks, Wolverine and Timberland shoe companies to discuss a program to ensure the viability and profitability of U.S. independent retailers.

Luck says most businesses need a great location, huge amounts of inventory or good personnel, but in the shoe business, they need all three. That's why his recent meeting with the executives was so crucial.

"We've all decided to go ahead and pursue the project," Luck says. "I'm very excited about it because it gives me an opportunity to give back and to help my own company, as well as independent shoe retailers across the country. It's personally rewarding." How to reach: Lucky Shoes Inc., (330) 836-9542