Rita Mitchell-Waldoff, a friend, devotee, and associate of WWIN’s beloved long-term presenter T.J. Reid, who retired after the August 2017 edition, will take the reins to continue to bring a handful of idea-packed workshops to this Fashion and Accessories Trade Show. These programs are promised to arm retailers with the tools and ideas needed to maximize sales and business opportunities while offering intel on the retail market from an expert's perspective.
Rita Mitchell-Waldoff grew up in the charming town of Little Rock, Arkansas. This small, yet bustling town, gave Rita the connections and competitive nature to withstand a life-long love for retail. Young and fashionable, Rita worked for the M.M.Cohn specialty chain while studying at UALR to become an English teacher with a minor in Spanish. Rita had planned to teach summer school, following her graduation, but life and Rita's supervisor had different plans. Rita became her advisors full-time assistant for the summer. This is where Rita's astounding career truly began.
She was selected for the legendary retail management training program at Woolf Brothers of Kansas City, where she managed women’s shoes, sportswear, dresses, coats and contemporary, along with men’s furnishings. She then moved to Fort Smith, Arkansas, where she started as the lingerie buyer for the Boston Store/White House specialty department group and quickly moved her way up to the designer sportswear, dress, suit and coat buyer. Within one year, she became the Central Mall/Fort Smith store manager while also serving as the interim manager for the Ney family’s White House Store in Beaumont, Texas.
Rita moved back to her hometown and opened up her own store called Elle Contemporary Classics, which flourished into Little Rock's most innovative boutique. Elle Contemporary Classics became so popular and widely known, that prestigious clients such as Hillary Clinton, Patti Upton, and Willie Oates shopped there. At its peak, ELLE did well over $6 million in volume annually and employed 25 of Little Rock’s most accomplished retail professionals. ELLE also won fashion, media, customer service and community awards.
Joining WALDOFF GROUP has marked the absolute summit of Rita’s entire retail career. As a partner, she joins Milton and his staff of professionals to follow WALDOFF GROUP's main focus of, "delivering outstanding analysis, business development, service, action planning and creativity to every client, project, and assignment."
When deciding who could fill shoes as big as T.J. Reid's, WWIN knew that Rita Mitchell-Waldoff had the experience and knowledge to do just that. Rita specializes in retail merchandising, restructuring, branding, event planning, margin analysis, trend commentary, fashion show planning and business journalism - proving her skilled knowledge of the retail world, from every possible angle. The expertise that she will bring to the WWIN Show will allow buyers the opportunity to learn successful strategies they will be able to implement in their own businesses as they leave the show.