Being a part of a specialist triathlon store has opened up some doorways that I didn't have previously. Most of all it gives me contact with suppliers of all the different store brands, and this has led to potential partners in the future.
I'm in the middle of a deal of becoming an ambassador for a Danish brand, and am also in talks of getting some equipment cheap. Especially when running I find this important. Not only do my entire closet need to be washed more often because I train every day, but I also have to take care of my feet when doing a monotone activity like running.
Having several pairs of shoes gives me the chance to alternate between different brands and different supporting platforms, thus decreasing the chances of repetitive injuries.