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Wolverine Worldwide to create children's group

By Danielle Wightman-Stone

Jun 5, 2017

Wolverine Worldwide, which owns brands including Keds, Merrell and Hush Puppies, is to create Wolverine Children's Group, which will focus on its growing children's business for the Company's portfolio of brands.

The move it states is the “next steps in its way forward strategic transformation”, which is aimed at enhancing its “consumer obsession, product innovation and financial performance in the near and long term”.

The Wolverine Children's Group will develop and grow the children's category for its portfolio of industry-leading brands including Merrell, Sperry, Saucony, Hush Puppies and Keds, which will be led by newly appointed Bornie Del Priore who has been brought on as the group’s vice president and general manager.

Priore joins Wolverine Worldwide following senior leadership positions at Tommy Bahama Footwear, Tommy Hilfiger USA, Tommy Hilfiger Footwear and Ralph Lauren Footwear. She will report to Richie Woodworth and will be able to lever Wolverine's significant global expertise in product, marketing, and distribution.

Wolverine Worldwide signs licensing agreement with Vida Shoes International

In addition, Wolverine Worldwide has entered into a multi-year licensing agreement for its Stride Rite brand to Vida Shoes International. Under the licensing agreement, global design, development, and marketing of the Stride Rite brand will be handed over to Vida for both footwear and other related children's products. Vida plans to begin growing Stride Rite operations globally from July.

“Wolverine has a long history of working with great partners to license and distribute our brands around the world," said Blake Krueger, Wolverine's chairman, chief executive officer and president. "Stride Rite is an iconic, premium children's footwear brand and this global partnership is the next stage in Stride Rite's nearly century-long history. Vida Shoes International shares our mission to design products that kids love, while offering parents fashionable and functional options for their children. We're confident they will be a great partner for Wolverine Worldwide and our Stride Rite brand.”

Krueger added: “This announcement is evidence of the tremendous progress we are continuing to make on our Wolverine Way Forward transformation – to position the Company to drive deeper consumer connections, accelerate the global growth of our brands, and ultimately, deliver greater shareholder value."

Image: via Stride Rite website