Independent U.S. retailers enjoyed sales growth of 6.1 percent last year and had a combined sales volume of $431.0 million, according to the U.S. National Shoe Retailers Association’s (NSRA) biennial “Business Performance Report” (BPR), which is based on the financial results of more than 530 member companies. The BPR shows that although almost all of the retailers’ expenses rose, total expenses as a percentage of sales declined. In personnel news, NSRA recently appointed Scott Muller as chief technology officer.