Share “Stride Rite owner to close 140 shoe stores”

Stride Rite owner to close 140 shoe stores

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 15, 2014 at 2:08 pm •  Published: July 15, 2014
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ROCKFORD, Mich. (AP) — Wolverine World Wide Inc., the maker of Stride Rite and Keds shoes, said it plans to shut down about 140 stores over the next 18 months and focus on selling more of its footwear online.

The company also cut its earnings and revenue outlook for the year, and its shares fell in afternoon trading Tuesday.

About 60 stores will close by the end of the year and the rest will close by the end of 2015. Wolverine said most of the closures will be Stride Rite stores. It didn't identify what stores would be closed. As of March, it operated 463 stores around the world.

The company said it also plans to shake up its store operations and make other organizational changes to its business. Because of the strategic realignment, the company expects to record charges between $30 million and $37 million from now until the end of fiscal year 2015. It expects to save about $11 million a year after its plan is implemented. It wants to use that money to invest in its websites and sell shoes on mobile devices.

Wolverine, which is based in Rockford, Michigan, makes several brands of shoes and boots, including Merrell, Hush Puppies, Sperry Top-Sider, Keds and Sebago. In a conference call with analysts, Chief Financial Officer said its Keds brand is growing quickly because of a partnership with pop star Taylor Swift.

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