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Americasmart Forms Alliance With Georgia Retail Association And Florida Retail Federation

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AmericasMart Atlanta, the Georgia Retail Association and the Florida Retail Federation have joined forces in an historic alliance giving top retailers from the southeast’s fastest-growing states preferred access to the nation’s single-largest home, gift and apparel wholesale marketplace, according to Jeffrey L. Portman, Sr., AmericasMart president and chief operating officer and Rick McAllister, president and chief executive officer of the Georgia and Florida entities.

Highlighting the new alliance is the Georgia Retail Association (GRA)--Florida Retail Federation (FRF) AmericasMart Business Center open for the exclusive use of GRA/FRF members shopping AmericasMart’s 13 annual markets.  Located on floor 6, showroom 677B of AmericasMart Building Two West Wing, the Business Center affords members private lounge facilities and networking opportunities, with GRA/FRF staff associates present during market to address questions and field member input regarding various business, education, service and legislative initiatives.

The alliance opens the door to new education, innovation and business-growth opportunities for thousands of Federation and Association members who as credentialed retailers currently attend or are open to attend AmericasMart markets, and accelerates AmericasMart’s long-standing focus on its expansive southeastern customer base.

“This alliance affirms our southeastern heritage and celebrates the inspired innovations of those retailers who serve our region’s diverse and burgeoning population,” says Portman, noting that the new partnership occurs in the 50th-anniversary year of both AmericasMart Atlanta and the Georgia Retail Association.  “Our stewardship of these unique needs is a special calling which we are pleased to accept,” Portman adds.

“We believe establishment of this important presence at AmericasMart will give strong voice to our collective mission and will offer our membership a unique opportunity to access the marketplace’s full resources,” notes McAllister.  “This critical first step sets direction for a multi-dimensional alliance yielding real benefits to our membership and to AmericasMart exhibitors alike,” he adds.

Announcement of the alliance on the eve of the newly aligned Atlanta fall gift, home, gourmet and apparel markets sets the stage for full FRF/GRA programming at the January 2012 Atlanta International Gift & Home Furnishings Market, including official Business Center opening events and FRF/GRA-sanctioned educational programming addressing loss prevention and other timely retail-business issues.  As the non-profit trade associations representing the retail industry in Florida and Georgia, the newly aligned FRF and GRA are now able to offer members exclusive access to the worldwide marketplace with an unparalleled array of products in hundreds of categories.

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