(Left to right) Michael Susskind and Roy Susskind.

Roy Susskind & Associates (RSA) is a family business that started in January 1980 and are agents and importers of ladies’ footwear. Before RSA, Roy Susskind worked as a Merchandise Director for retailer Wittner Shoes for 17 years and before that he was a buyer for five years at Myer’s Ladies’ fashion footwear department. He first joined Myer’s as a trainee cadet and was told by management he would be working in Ladies’ Shoes and loved it from day one. In 1979, Susskind decided to become self-employed as he had excellent contacts overseas to source products which were a tremendous help to get started.  With mainly three family members in RSA, Susskind said his son Michael has 31 years footwear experience in retailing, design, manufacturing and wholesale. Susskind stated that they are not looking to expand into men's footwear as it is an entirely different field. “We prefer to concentrate on constantly serving up to date ladies’ shoes,” he said.

A family business for over 30 years, RSA are agents and importers of ladies’ footwear. RSA’s speciality is sourcing exclusively European footwear from Italy, France, Spain, Portugal and so on. “We can get the latest original fashion designs and materials at very competitive prices,” Susskind added. Their main suppliers all specialise in a particular type of footwear. For example, hand-woven shoes, sandals, fashion heel shoes, moccasins, mature trendy comfort casuals, young dress casuals, and espadrilles.

They primarily supply independent retailers and some minor chains and offer either F.O.B or a service to smaller retailers as F.I.S. Susskind he values the fact that they can work with each customer individually and supply just what they want with the client's knowledge that they will always stand behind whatever they provide them. “Whichever way you buy we always stand 100 percent behind the product we sell.”

Some of their suppliers include; Pons Quintana, Hirica, Brenda Zaro, Clarus, Vitti Love, Azuree, Kanna, and La Linea. Susskind keeps in contact with his clients regularly by phone or email as well as store visits. Their client base is quite varied from retailers specialising in mature ladies’ comfort to those that want the latest younger fashion. He loves travelling overseas twice annually to work with factory designers on the present collection and exchange ideas about future designs and leather types.

A standout innovation Susskind has seen over the past 30 years is that European made footwear has become much more price competitive and less expensive as a percentage of wages. “The biggest change is that retailers in the past used to be 'brand' oriented and buy a good representation of the brand they carry whereas now the majority retails are 'item' buyers with little brand recognition,” he explained.

When asked if there was a secret to success, Susskind said “The secret is no secret! We have to always keep right up to date with fashion trends showing around the world and source the product the retailer wants.”