ORLANDO, Fla. - Hughes Supply Inc. announced that it has launched an exclusive distributor agreement and Web site to sell occupational footwear directly to its customers. This agreement allows Hughes to act as the sole distributor in the construction distribution industry of Nautilus steel-toe athletic shoes, waterproof industrial boots, security/public safety footwear, ESD Healthcare footwear, slip-resistant restaurant shoes, and other styles of safety shoes offered by Footwear Specialties International.

To facilitate the shoe sales, the new Web site, www.hughessafetyshoes.com, will feature occupational shoe brands including Nautilus Safety Footwear. Footwear on HughesSafetyShoes.com ranges from $39.00 slip-resistant restaurant shoes to $99.00 steel-toe shoes and waterproof boots.

Features of the Web site include a full-color catalog of men's and women's shoes offered by Hughes with searching capability, a secure online ordering form, and access to Hughes' promotions that include the shoes.

Mike Dodge, Hughes director of sales promotion, commented, "We are very pleased to have an exclusive agreement with a company like Nautilus. Safety shoes are a necessity for many of our customers, vendors, and employees, and Footwear Specialties International has developed this product from a commodity to a desired brand of fashionable, functional, and ergonomic footwear.

"Sales of these safety shoes at Hughes have taken off and we've established contracts with customers ranging from government entities to national accounts and our own vendors, as well as an ambulance company. They have been a great partner for us and we appreciate their loyalty to Hughes."

"We are delighted that Hughes Supply has partnered with us and launched their own Web site to sell our shoes," said Wayne Elsey, president and CEO of Nautilus Safety Footwear. "They have a strong commitment to their customers and their dedication to quality helps reinforce our ergonomic message."

Nautilus Safety Footwear is one of three brands owned and operated by Footwear Specialties International, manufacturer of ergonomic footwear. "The difference between ergonomic footwear and regular footwear is simple," said Elsey. "Ergonomics consider the whole muscular-skeletal system, not just where the toes end up in the shoe."

Headquartered in Orlando, Fla., Hughes distributes over 300,000 products through approximately 460 wholesale outlets located in 34 states.

Publication date: 01/19/2004