The North Dakota Retail Association (NDRA) was founded on October 12, 1965.  It is a non-profit trade association that was organized to improve the business climate for retail merchants.  NDRA serves both large and small retailers, from multi-state chains to local “Mom and Pops”.

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.

Over fifty years later, NDRA is still the voice of the retail industry in North Dakota.

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. Olson – Grand Forks