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About The Stride Rite Corporation

Wolverine World Wide makes Hush Puppies casual shoes as well as boots, sandals, and related apparel and accessories. In addition to Hush Puppies, top footwear brands include Merrell, Bates, HyTest, Keds, Sperry, Saucony, Stride Rite, and Wolverine; footwear is made under private labels. Wolverine also boasts several licenses from Caterpillar ("Cat") and Harley-Davidson to make branded footwear. The company licenses its Stride Rite brand under a global license arrangement. Its footwear is sold worldwide through department and specialty stores, independent distributors, Internet retailers, and about 80 company-owned retail stores in the US and Canada. Wolverine also maintains about 40 consumer-direct e-commerce sites. About two-thirds of company total sales comes from US. 

 

Operations

Wolverine designs, manufactures, sources, markets, licenses, and distributes branded footwear, apparel, and accessories.

The company operates through three reportable segments: Wolverine Outdoor & Lifestyle Group (Merrell, Cat, Hush Puppies,  and Chaco); Wolverine Boston Group (Sperry, Saucony and Keds brands and apparel, and Stride Rite kids footwear); and Wolverine Heritage Group (Wolverine, Bates uniform footwear, Harley-Davidson, and HyTest footwear). 

Wolverine Outdoor & Lifestyle Group is the largest segment, accounting for nearly 45% of total sales. Wolverine Boston Group, accounts for about 40% of sales, and Wolverine Heritage Group accounts for some 15%.  

Geographic Reach

Wolverine's footwear brands are sold in about 200 countries and territories in the US, the UK, and Canada as well as Latin America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, and the Asia-Pacific region. The US accounts for about two-thirds of the company's revenue. 

The company's administration, sales and marketing operations are conducted in Rockford, Michigan, and Waltham, Massachusetts. It maintains distribution operations in the US (Beaumont, California; Louisville, Kentucky; and Howard City, Michigan); Ontario, Canada; and Heerhugowaard, Netherlands. It also has showrooms and other various facilities throughout Canada, China, continental Europe, Hong Kong, the UK, and the US. 

The company operates 80 retail stores in the US and Canada and about 40 consumer-direct ecommerce websites.

Sales and Marketing

Wolverine markets directly through retail stores, its sales force and customer service team, e-commerce websites, and a network of third-party distributors, sales representatives, licensees, and joint ventures. Its brand-specific marketing plans include print and radio advertising, search engine optimization, social networking sites, event sponsorships, in-store point-of-purchase displays, promotional materials and sales and technical assistance. The company directly sells its products to a range of customers, including department stores, national chains, catalog retailers, specialty retailers, mass merchants and internet retailers, governments and municipalities. Wolverine also uses a network of independent Shoemobile distribution outlets to distribute some work and occupational footwear brands at industrial facilities. Wolverine's target consumers include both elite and casual runners (Saucony), young women (Keds), and industrial workers (Wolverine), among others.

The company's advertising expenses were approximately $121 million, $107 million and $122 million in 2018, 2017 and 2016. In addition, wholesale accounts for 85% of total sales and consumer-direct accounts for the remaining some 15%. 

Financial Performance

Wolverine has seen revenue fall in recent years, dropping by nearly 20% since fiscal 2015. The decrease reflects in part the transition the company is going through as it closes low-performing retail stores and focuses more on its online sales. 

The company's fiscal 2018 revenue dropped nearly 5% to $2.2 billion from the previous year. The decrease in revenue is attributed in part to closure of retail stores, a change in the business model for Stride Rite, and the divestiture of the Sebago brand. 

Net income grew in fiscal 2018 to $200 million. Operating expenses fell in fiscal 2018, driven by lower restructuring and other related costs, lower impairment of intangible assets, and lower transformation costs. 

Cash at the end of fiscal 2018 was $143.1 million, a decrease of 70% from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $97.5 million to the coffers, while investing activities used $22.2 million, mainly for building improvements and information systems enhancements. Financing activities used another $404.5 million for company stock purchases and dividends to stockholders. 

Strategy

Wolverine's strategy is centered on growth through e-commerce and global expansion.  

Editing its retail offerings, Wolverine has closed more than 200 underperforming stores and kept 80 profitable stores. In addition, the company divested its Sebago brand as part of a portfolio restructuring related to focusing on its highest potential growth brands.   

The company is seeking more opportunities in international markets, where it achieved mid-single digit growth in 2018. It recently announced a partnership with leading Chinese sportswear retailer Xtep International Holdings Limited to develop, market, and distribute Merrell and Saucony products in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau. 

Some of the company's top brands, including Merrell, Sperry, Cat, and Wolverine, saw growth in both their stores and ecommerce categories in 2018. Its specialty running brand, Saucony, saw revenue decline in 2018 but saw positive signs in the EMEA region as well as its ecommerce channel.  

Company Background

The company was founded in 1883 as Hirth-Krause Co. by G.A Krause and his uncle, Fred Hirth. In 1921, the company changed its name to Wolverine Shoe and Tanning Corporation. The casual brand shoe, Hush Puppies, was born in 1958. In 1964, the company chose a more fitting name: Wolverine Worldwide, Inc. (WWW).

Later that year, the company traded its stock in New York Stock Exchange. It purchased the Merrell brand in 1997. It also acquired the global license for footwear from the Harley-Davidson Motor Company, which became one of the company's top performing brands. In 2003, the company purchased Sebago, the authentic American brand featuring handsewn dress casual and performance marine footwear, including Docksides. (It later sold the Sebago brand in 2017 to focus on its core brands.)

In 2012, WWW acquired the PLG group from Collective Brands, Inc. This added Sperry Top-Sider, Saucony, Stride Rite and Keds to the existing brand family.

The Stride Rite Corporation

500 TOTTEN POND RD STE 1
Waltham, MA 02451-1927
Phone: 1 (617) 824-6000

Stats

Employer Type: Privately Owned
Associate Director, Quality Assurance: Miriam Eapen
Director, Clinical Operations: Stacey Limauro
Regional Information Technology Manager: Terry Mcdonald
Employees (This Location): 400
Employees (All Locations): 3,100

Major Office Locations

Waltham, MA

Other Locations

Phoenix, AZ
Burbank, CA
Carlsbad, CA
Commerce, CA
National City, CA
Northridge, CA
Ontario, CA
Sacramento, CA
San Jose, CA
Temecula, CA
Wilton, CT
Destin, FL
Ellenton, FL
Estero, FL
Jupiter, FL
Melbourne, FL
Saint Augustine, FL
West Palm Beach, FL
Augusta, GA
Aurora, IL
Oak Brook, IL
Richmond, IN
Vincennes, IN
Topeka, KS
Lexington, KY
Louisville, KY
Kenner, LA
Boston, MA
Annapolis, MD
Waldorf, MD
Albertville, MN
Branson, MO
Asheville, NC
Durham, NC
Raleigh, NC
Marlton, NJ
Somerset, NJ
Bayside, NY
Commack, NY
Merrick, NY
Middletown, NY
New York, NY
Sayville, NY
Aurora, OH
Beavercreek, OH
Cincinnati, OH
Woodburn, OR
Bluffton, SC
Florence, SC
Sioux Falls, SD
Humble, TX
Katy, TX
Lewisville, TX
Sugar Land, TX
Wichita Falls, TX
Ogden, UT
Harrisonburg, VA
Mc Lean, VA
North Bend, WA
Madison, WI
Oshkosh, WI
Charleston, WV