Amiot named president of prestigious buyers group
Squire Shop marks 41st anniversary
In the fall of 2009, Rita Amiot, owner and manager of the Squire Shop was named to the board of directors of the N.W. Buyers.
Founded in 1920, N.W. Buyers is a menswear buying group consisting of approximately 350 independent men’s stores located throughout the United States. The organization is owned by its member stores and operated solely for their benefit.
Although Amiot wasn’t the first woman appointed to the board, she was the first woman owner on it. Recently she was elected to a two year term as President of the N.W. Buyers Board of Directors. This is a first for the prestigious buyers group.
The board of directors has to approve any store that would like to become a member of the NW. Buyers Group.
According to Amiot, it’s advantageous for specialty stores to be members because there is direct communication with manufacturers and this helps them compete with the big box store.“It only took 91 years, but yes I am the first woman elected to serve as the N.W. Buyers president,” she said.
According to Amiot, the group has member stores in 31 states, with a purchasing power of $30 million.
“There are 195 affiliated resources, which are companies the group buys from,” she said.
According to Amiot, many of the top name fashion lines want to show to the N.W. Buyers.
“What we look for when choosing an affiliated resource are good quality brands where the companies will ship goods to our 350 member stores. They also must be good business people and offer rebates to the organization, which are passed onto our member stores,” she said.
Being elected president just didn’t happen through attrition of going through the chairs. There are six people on the board of directors, not including the president and vice-president. So it was when her term on the board of directors was up that she was elected president of the N.W. Buyers. The stockholders nominated the board of directors. The board of directors elect the president and vice-president. Amiot’s term will run from September of this year until 2013.
While Amiot said it is an honor to be elected the first female president of the N.W. Buyers Group, she said what is most gratifying is to see how far women have come in business.
“There is a picture of the first annual meeting with all the members held in 1920 at the Ryan Hotel in Minneapolis and there wasn’t one woman,” she said. “It’s gratifying to see the acceptance of women in the marketplace. Woman are respected like other gentleman members of the group.”
This week marks the 41st anniversary of the Squire Shop. Amiot has been the sole owner of the store since 1984.
“It’s been a gratifying career. It’s been a lot of hard work. Northing comes easy in retail, especially as an independent owner,” she said. “In a small town you have to be a little bit of everything for everybody. I love to see all the people who come back home for the holidays that stop by and shop.”