The North Dakota Retail Association (NDRA) was founded on October 12, 1965 in Bismarck, North Dakota and is comprised of large and small retail businesses across the state. The association's mission is to promote and enhance retail business, improve the business climate in the state, provide training and education to members, and monitor legislative and regulatory activity on the state and national level.

NDRA is a non-profit trade association that was organized to improve the business climate for retail merchants in this state. More than 35 years later, NDRA is still the voice of the retail industry in North Dakota, representing the interests of individual merchants before the legislature and serving as a vital link to state government.

The association's membership includes members from across the state and NDRA serves both large and small retailers, from multi-state chains to local "Mom and Pops," and all types of merchants, including apparel, furniture, computer and drug stores.

Amongst the stated purposes for organizing the Retail Association in 1965 were the following:

  • To foster a closer relationship between the public and ND merchants by conducting a service and public relations program on behalf of the retail industry.
  • To promote unified action by all segments of the retail industry on matters that are of common interest to the end that retailers may better serve the public.
  • To provide non-partisan and non-political representation to all retailers, independent and chain, small and large.
  • To cooperate with other state and national groups, such as educational organizations, industrial organizations, farm organizations, chambers of commerce, on matter of common interest that affect the conduct of retailing, and on programs that strengthen and develop the states economy.
  • To serve as a fact-finding bureau to collect and analyze and interpret all available data related to retail distribution, and to transmit these facts to ND retailers and other organizations.
  • To cooperate with both the legislative and executive branches of the state and federal government to the end that retailers may better serve the public.
  • To do any acts that may tend to benefit the retail industry as well as producers and consumers of goods, wares, and merchandise.

This same mission holds true today more than forty years later.

Retailers active in the organization of the Association in 1965 included:

Evan Shark - Bismarck

Robert Herbst - Fargo

Thomas Caswell - Dickinson

A.M. Foss Jr. - Minot

Milton Barker - Bismarck

Norman Elison - Minot

Myer Shark - Fargo

Paul Ebeltoft - Dickinson

Charles Vettel - Bismarck

Vern Espeset - Fargo

Alan Young - Devils Lake

N.C. Olsson - Grand Forks

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