There's no business like shoe business for Caleres (formerly Brown Shoe Company). Caleres operates 1,038 value-priced family footwear stores under the Famous Footwear banner in the US and Guam, 169 Naturalizer stores in the US and Canada, and a growing number of shoe stores in China. The company also sells shoes online and licenses Dr. Scholl's and Disney brand footwear. It distributes footwear worldwide through more than 2,500 retailers, including independent, chain (DSW), department stores (Nordstrom), catalogs, and online retailers. Caleres is opening new stores, closing underperforming ones, and updating styles to appeal to younger bipeds. The company has a growing footprint in China.
While Caleres rings up nearly 90% of its sales in the US, its retail reach extends as far as China where its majority-owned subsidiary, B&H Footwear Limited, operates about 25 shoe stores in major cities. China is the source for about 85% of Brown Shoe's footwear. Its sells retail footwear through 1,209 shoe stores across the US, Canada, and Guam (including 95 in Canada).
The company has sourcing and product development offices in China, Hong Kong,Macau, Vietnam, Italy, Ethiopia, and the US (St. Louis and New York).
During the fourth quarter of fiscal 2014 Caleres reorganized its operations into two segments: Famous Footwear (62% of sales) and Brand Portfolio (38%).
The Famous Footwear segment includes its Famous Footwear stores, as well as Famous.com., which operates with 1,038 stores.
Famous Footwear stores feature a wide selection of brand-name athletic, casual and dress shoes for the entire family. Brands carried include, among others, NIKE, Skechers, Bearpaw, Converse, Vans, New Balance, adidas, Asics, Sperry, and Sof Sole, as well as company-owned and licensed brands including, among others, LifeStride, Dr. Scholl’s, Fergalicious, Naturalizer and Carlos.
The Brand Portfolio segment is comprised of the Naturalizer, Sam Edelman, Dr. Scholl's, Franco Sarto, LifeStride, Vince, Via Spiga, Fergie, Ryka and Carlos brands. Brand Portfolio operates 171 retail stores in the US and Canada, primarily for its Naturalizer brand. In connection with its omni-channel approach to reach consumers, the company also operates Naturalizer.com, Naturalizer.ca, SamEdelman.com, and DrSchollsShoes.com
In fiscal 2015 (ended January), 64% of the company’s sales were women’s footwear; 22% men’s footwear; 9% children’s footwear; and 5% accessories. About 67% of footwear sales in fiscal 2015 were retail sales, including sales through its e-commerce websites; the remaining 33% were wholesale sales.
Sales and Marketing
Caleres' footwear is distributed throughout North America via retailers, including national chains, department stores, mass merchandisers, independent retailers, online retailers, and catalogs.
The company invests in advertising and marketing support, including print, in-store displays and fixtures, public relations, tradeshows consumer media advertising, production, cooperative advertising, and digital advertising, with its wholesale customers. Total advertising and marketing expenses were $83.6 million, $82.2 million, and $83.0 million, in fiscal 2015, 2014, and 2013, respectively.
Caleres has seen revenue growth over the last few years except in fiscal 2014. The company’s revenue increased by 2% in fiscal 2015 (ended January) due to 6% growth in Brand Portfolio segment as a result of growth in sales from brands including Sam Edelman, Vince, Via Spiga and Franco Sarto, partially offset by a decrease in Naturalizer. Revenues from the Famous Footwear segment were flat for the year.
Net income increased by 118% primarily due to absence of loss from discontinued operations, included the operations and sale of its Avia and Nevados brands as well as the operations and impairment of its Etienne Aigner and Vera Wang brands, and impairment of assets held for sale and also due to a gain on sale of e-commerce subsidiary, Shoes.com./p>
Updating its image and brand, in 2015 Brown Shoes changed its corporate name to Caleres.
In 2015 the company launched ecommerce site Bzees.com for its Bzees brand shoes. That year Celares entered into a licensing agreement with Diane von Furstenberg to produce and distribute a women’s shoe collection for the Resort 2016 season. Caleres has been reducing the store counts of both its Famous Footwear and specialty retail chains, while gradually growing its retail footprint in China. Indeed, China is a growth market for Caleres.The company has a joint venture agreement with a subsidiary of C. banner International Holdings Limited (CBI) to market Naturalizer footwear in China. Celares is a 51% owner of the joint venture B&H Footwear, with CBI owning the other 49%. B&H Footwear sells Naturalizer footwear to a retail affiliate of CBI on a wholesale basis.
Its B&H Footwear venture opened five stores in China in fiscal 2014, bringing its total in China to more than 30 locations. Also, through a joint venture with China's Hongguo International Holdings, Caleres operates some 80 stores there and planned to open more than 20 in fiscal 2015.