SOURCE: Associates Interactive

March 19, 2008 08:00 ET

Associates Interactive Ranks First Among Most Innovative Start-Up Companies in Recent Poll

Industry Analysts at AMR Research Select Associates Interactive as Most Innovative Start-Up Funded in Q4 2007

BUFFALO, NY--(Marketwire - March 19, 2008) - Associates Interactive, a provider of training content and certifications used to train retail sales associates, announced today that it was selected as the most innovative start-up company of Q4 2007 by AMR Research. Associates Interactive was founded in Buffalo, NY, in October of 2007 and funded by a group of investors led by Rand Capital Corporation.

AMR Research, an independent analyst firm focused on supply chain and enterprise technology, polls more than 100 of its senior analysts on all companies that received seed / start-up funding during a given quarter. Associates Interactive was one of 21 start-up companies funded in Q4 2007, compared to 15 companies funded from July through December 2006.

"Associates Interactive won first place in the record-turnout poll. This wasn't surprising to us, given that turnover in retail environments hovers around 100 percent," said Laura McCaughey, managing director of investment research strategies at AMR Research. "Our analysts are receiving a significant number of inquiries focusing on the training and re-training of retail sales staff, and Associates Interactive seems to have an innovative approach to addressing this industry-wide pain point."

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor, retail salespeople are projected to be the second fastest-growing occupation over the next 10 years at 12.4 percent growth, after registered nurses at 23.5 percent.

"We are honored to receive this distinction from a firm that watches and understands the retail segment so well," said Bob Richardson, president and CEO of Associates Interactive. "We understand the impact well-prepared associates can have on sales results. As retailers face reduced consumer spending and shoppers who are more wary of the information they receive from sales associates, it's even more critical. There is a clear need to give associates the tools to produce sales and provide the shopping experience that builds trust and relationships that bring consumers back into the store."

Associates Interactive's training method, RetailAI™, combines the best practices in instructional design with proven techniques to help increase sales in retail settings. Compared to other training alternatives, the Associates Interactive approach aims to achieve results more quickly and incrementally improves sales growth as associates complete additional courses and practice personalized sales techniques. In the RetailAI™ model, product knowledge is focused on the essential features that are most important to customers, eliminating the technical jargon that often intimidates consumers.

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About Associates Interactive

Associates Interactive develops training content, courses, exercises, tests and certifications used to train retail sales associates. The company is addressing the market demand for effective training material that has an immediate and sustained impact on associate behavior and sales results. The training program, called RetailAI™, is developed independently and better integrates products from multiple manufacturers in the sales discussion, ultimately increasing overall sales for the retailer. More information on Associates Interactive can be found at

Contact Information

  • Contacts:
    Noah Dye / Melanie Wehrman
    LEWIS PR for Associates Interactive
    Noah: 408-573-3662
    Melanie: 408-573-3665
    Email Contact