The National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA) honored Naot and its owner Steve Lax as its 2017 Vendor of the Year during its annual Leadership Conference held last month in Memphis, TN.
Founded on a small Israeli kibbutz in 1942, Naot has grown from a simple work shoes and sandal brand into an international success story. Now the country’s leading manufacturer and exporter of a full range of comfort lifestyle shoes, Naot took off in the late 1980s when its tag line, “It’s fashionable to walk in comfort” was introduced. Led by its suede covered anatomical footbed made of natural cork and latex that mimics the fit and feel of walking in sand, the brand’s high-quality Italian leather uppers in stylish silhouettes in men’s and women’s completes the package. Naot has become a cornerstone of many comfort retailers.
Indeed, Naot recognizes independents as the backbone of it business and strives to do whatever it can to support its retail partners. It includes maintaining a tight distribution and not allowing consumers to purchase Naot footwear directly on a company website.
“We have been buying Naot footwear for over 25 years. Steve Lax has been an integral part of our business [and] a strong supporter of the independent retailer,” stated Rick Ravel, owner of Karavel Shoes in Austin, TX, and past NSRA chairman. “It’s a great pleasure to acknowledge Naot and Steve as NSRA’s Vendor of the Year.”
“We are humbled by this award and share it with each of our thousands of employees worldwide, who are responsible for our service and success,” Lax said.