About Wolverine World Wide, Inc.
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 95 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.
Wolverine designs, manufactures, sources, markets, licenses, and distributes branded footwear, apparel, and accessories.
The company operates through two reportable segments: Wolverine Michigan Group (Merrell, Cat, Wolverine, Bates, Harley- Davidson, HyTest, Hush Puppies, and Chaco footwear); and Wolverine Boston Group (Sperry, Saucony and Keds brands and apparel, and the Kids footwear business, which includes the Stride Rite licensed business, as well as kids' footwear offerings from Saucony, Sperry, Keds, Merrell, Hush Puppies and Cat).
Wolverine Michigan Group is the largest segment, accounting for more than 55% of total sales and Wolverine Boston Group, accounts for about 40% of sales
Wolverine's footwear brands are sold in about 170 countries and territories in the US, the UK, and Canada as well as Latin America, Europe, 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 about 95 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, uniform outlets and its own consumer-direct business. 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 $119 million, $121 million, and $107 million in 2019, 2018, and 2017, respectively. In addition, wholesale accounts for 85% of total sales and consumer-direct accounts for the remaining some 15%.
Wolverine has seen revenue fall in recent years, dropped by more than 15% 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 2019 revenue increase nearly 2% to $2.23 billion from the previous year. The increase reflected a 2.2% increase from the Michigan Group and a 1.7% increase from the Boston Group. The Michigan Group's revenue increase was driven by a high-single digit increase from Merrell and low-teens increase from Cat, partially offset by low-teens decreases from Chaco and Hush Puppies. The Boston Group's revenue increase was due to mid-single digit increase for Sperry and a low-teens increase from Keds, partially offset by a mid-single digit decline for Saucony.
Net income fell in fiscal 2019 to $128.5 million. Operating expenses increase in fiscal 2019, driven by higher environmental and other related costs, higher general and administration costs, higher distribution costs, higher reorganization costs and higher selling expenses.
Cash at the end of fiscal 2019 was $180.6 million, an increase of $37.5 from the prior year. Cash from operations contributed $222.6 million to the coffers, while investing activities used $61.5 million, mainly for additions to property, plants and equipment and acquisitions. Financing activities used another $124.6 million for company stock purchases and dividends to stockholders
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 2019. Its specialty running brand, Saucony, saw revenue decline in 2019 but saw positive signs in the acquisition of the Saucony distributor in Italy as well as its ecommerce channel.
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.
9341 Courtland Dr Ne
Rockford, MI 49351-0001
Phone: 1 (616) 866-5500
Employer Type: Publicly Owned
Stock Symbol: WWW
Stock Exchange: , NYSE
President, Wolverine Heritage Group and Global Operations Group: Michael Jeppesen
Chairman, President, and CEO: Blake W. Krueger
SVP, CFO, and Treasurer: Michael D. Stornant
Employees (This Location): 277
Employees (All Locations): 4,000
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