|This article does not cite any references or sources. (August 2009)|
||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (April 2008)|
|Type||Subsidiary of Foot Locker|
|Industry||Direct mail catalog and internet supplier of athletic footwear & apparel.|
|Headquarters||Wausau, Wisconsin, USA|
Eastbay is a world supplier of athletic footwear, apparel and sports equipment. The company was established to meet the performance needs of local high school and college athletes within Central Wisconsin. Originally viewed as a grassroots project, this venture grew into a worldwide direct mail catalog and internet sales conglomerate featuring top athletic brands such as Nike, Adidas, Under Armour, ASICS, Reebok, Jordan, Converse, New Balance, Oakley, LRG, Saucony, and Brooks.
The company began in 1980 when Richard Gering and Art Juedes decided to set up a shoe selling company. With about $7000 worth of running shoes, the pair took to the road and set up shoe clinics near their hometown of Wausau, WI. At each stop they educated attendees with the benefits of their shoes and provided descriptive price lists.
In 1983, they developed a catalog for track & field and baseball shoes which increased sales. In 1988, phone operators were hired to take orders. In 1989, Eastbay began a Team Sales division and in 1990 created and produced its first in-house Team Sales catalog. By 1990, Eastbay's Call Center, Shipping and Creative Departments occupied nearly an entire city block.
Eastbay established its own clothing brand in 1990, offering jackets, pants, shorts and tops in a variety of team colors and styles, all featuring the signature Eastbay logo.
On Friday, Sept. 29, 1995 Eastbay went public and opened on the Nasdaq stock exchange. Two years later, shareholders sold the company to retail giant Woolworth.
In July 1997, Eastbay moved its downtown corporate operation and retail store to a larger space in Wausau's near west side. Three months later it combined the shipping department and various warehouses into a new 500,000-square-foot (46,000 m2) Distribution Center located in the outskirts of Wausau. In March 1998, Eastbay converted its informational website into an active e-commerce site at www.eastbay.com. Shortly following, to manage a tremendous increase in sales, two additional Call Centers were opened in Oshkosh, WI and Green Bay, WI. Although an era ended when Eastbay founders Art Juedes and Mr. Gering retired on June 30, 1999, the business continued to thrive. Eastbay's parent company, Woolworth, also underwent revision in November 2001, changing its name to Foot Locker, Inc.