Our Haute 100 list details the accomplishments of the most influential people in each of our markets—Miami, New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. These people continue to make moves, so rather than waiting for the next Haute 100 issue to come out, we thought we’d provide you with regular updates on those Haute 100 members who are making headlines. On our Haute 100 New York list are Loren and JR Ridinger, the power couple behind Market America.
Loren & JR Ridinger
Category: Power Couples
Company: Market America
Industry: Internet Shopping
What Made Them Haute: JR and Loren founded Market America in a 1,200-square-foot house in North Carolina some 18 years ago. Today, the Ridinger’s Casa de Sueños estate on Miami Beach is one of the city’s most enviable. Their story is the American dream realized. JR and Loren serve as CEO and senior vice president, respectively, of the brokerage and Internet marketing company that specializes in one-to-one-marketing and is ranked among the top 70 e-retailers by Internet Retailer magazine. With more than six million customers and 180,000 customer managers worldwide, the company has generated more than $3.4 billion in accumulated retail sales. Since the company’s inception, individuals have earned more than $2 billion in commissions and retail profits. Market America is helping aspiring (and established) entrepreneurs all over the world harness the power of the Internet to create their own versions of paradise. It was with this idea in mind that Alejandro Sanz and Alicia Keys met one night on board the Ridinger’s megayacht Utopia 3 and ended up writing their hit song “Looking for Paradise.” This in turn was the theme of the 2010 Market America World Conference that sold out American Airlines Arena for three days straight in late January.
What Makes Them Haute Now: Tickets have already sold out (more than 25,000!) to Market America’s annual International Convention, which will take place from Aug. 5-7 at the Greensboro Coliseum Complex in North Carolina. Plus, their newly redesigned online store has considerably enhanced the online shopping experience. Searching is made more simple and they’ve developed a sophisticated cash back option, which will give customers .5 percent cash back on all purchases made by people they refer. This improvement has helped the site jump 12 spots to number 54 in Internet Retailer’s Top 500 Guide and was voted “Most Improved” website by Foresee Online Retail Satisfaction Index.
Yet perhaps the Ridingers’ most notable feat is their profound use of social media networks like Twitter and Facebook. The company tweets regularly from @marketamerica with more than 4,000 followers while both Loren and JR also each have their own personal accounts (@LorenRidinger currently has 37,687 followers). With celebrity friends like @EvaLongoria and @KimKardashian, the Power Couple is indeed celebrating their recent successes in good company.