|Headquarters||Montreal, Quebec, Canada|
|Divisions||ALDO/ALDO Accessories, Call It Spring/Spring, GLOBO|
The Aldo Group (corporately styled The ALDO Group) is a private corporation in Canada that owns and operates a worldwide chain of shoe and accessory stores. The company was founded by Aldo Bensadoun in Montreal, Quebec, in 1972, where its corporate headquarters remain today. It has grown to become a worldwide corporation, with nearly 2,000 stores under three retail banners: ALDO, Call It Spring/Spring and GLOBO. Stores in Canada, the U.S., the U.K., and Ireland are owned by the Group, while international stores are franchised. The company once operated the now closed or rebranded banners. Little Burgundy (which it sold to Genesco), Simard & Voyer, Christian Shoes, Access, Pegabo, Transit, Stoneridge, Locale, Feetfirst and FIRST (which was the American version of Feetfirst).
ALDO shoes were founded in Canada in 1972 as a footwear concession within Le Chateau. The original group included stores in Montréal, Ottawa, Quebec City, and Winnipeg. Aldo Bensadoun known today as a global shoe giant built his empire starting in Montréal. After four generations, the Bensadoun family continues into the shoe industry. "Mr. Bensadoun never intended to follow in the footsteps of his father, a shoe retailer in Morocco and France, or his grandfather, a cobbler in Algeria" (Strauss, 2010). Aldo Bensadoun learned Italian to better communicate with his suppliers in Italy, and eventually he cut out the middleman who serviced him between Canada and European manufacturers (Strauss, 2010). The first freestanding ALDO store was opened in Montréal, in 1987. The brand expanded in the 1980s and 1990s, with stores operating under the name ALDO across Canada. Entering in the US market was going to be a challenge, this was a market where many Canadian companies failed to prosper. "It opened one store in 1990 in the decidedly unfashionable border town of Plattsburgh, N.Y., a mere hour's drive from the ALDO Group headquarters. The store served as a lab where ALDO tested its logistics, marketing and hiring in preparation for a broader American assault" according to Kuncharsky (2002).[full citation needed] The first store outside of North America opened in Israel in 1995. The brand expanded in the 2000s into Saudi Arabia in 2001, England in 2002, and Singapore in 2003. Since then, the ALDO Group, with the ALDO and Call It Spring/Spring banners, has further expanded on the international market.
In 1991, the company launched the "Transit" banner in Canada, which later became "Spring" upon launching in the US. Five years later, they started the "Feetfirst" banner which caters to an older clientele. Additionally the company operates "Globo Shoes" geared towards the family market. In 2010, the company once again began to evolve when it introduced, in Canada, a new store concept called "Lōcale", which will replace the current "Feetfirst" stores. "Lōcale" is a footwear and accessories boutique-style concept store aimed at young professionals; it offers a number of brand names. The company has also revived the Pegabo brand which used to be its own chain of stores and is selling the brand in Feetfirst and Lōcale stores. In spring 2011, the Pegabo brand also launched at The Bay stores in Canada.
In 2010, the company made major announcements, which led to major expansion in the American market. The ALDO Group and JCPenney announced the launch of the Call It Spring brand which would sell as a shop-in-shop concept in JCPenney stores across the United States. The Call It Spring concept was expected to be in 600 JCPenney stores by the fall of 2011 and JCPenney would be the only department store retailer of the brand. The ALDO Group also announced that it was partnering with Kohl's department stores to design and produce exclusive footwear products which would be sold under private and exclusive brand names. The new ALDO-designed products were to launch in Kohl's stores for the Spring 2011 season.
The ALDO Group partners annually with YouthAIDS, an education and prevention program of Population Services International using media, pop culture, music, theater, and sports to stop the spread of HIV/AIDS. According to the ALDO Group's website, the company introduces fundraising products annually for the program, and has generated $3.5 million in donations to date. The program was launched in 2005 with a celebrity advertising campaign, created by the New York ad agency Kraftworks NYC.
ALDO Product Services
ALDO Product Services (APS) is a division of the ALDO Group launched in 2010 which is dedicated to providing branded wholesale and private label fashion footwear and accessories. Working with select retail clients, APS creates and develop brands, by offering all the tools and resources to help companies manage successful shoe and accessories departments, from research, product design and development to branding, marketing and distribution.
- ALDO – Men's and women's footwear and accessories
- Banff Trail – Men's, women's and children's footwear
- BBX – Men's and boys' footwear
- Call it Spring – Men's and women's footwear and accessories
- First – Men's and women's footwear
- K Studio – Men's and women's footwear and accessories
- Luca Ferri – Women's footwear
- Max Comfort – Men's footwear
- Melia – Footwear and accessories
- Mr. B's - Men's footwear and accessories
- No Angel – Girls' footwear
- Pegabo – Men's and women's footwear
- Solemate – Women's footwear and accessories
- Transit – Men's, women's and children's footwear
- Weekenders – Men's footwear
According to its official website, the ALDO Group is located in over 95 countries around the world.
- Strauss, Marina (2010-09-03). "Aldo's global footprint". The Globe and Mail. Toronto.
- Kuncharsky, D. (2002). ALDO Steps Out. Marketing Magazine, 107(3), 7
- "ALDO History". Alsoshoes.com. Retrieved 2009-05-20.
- "Shop GLOBO Shoes, Boots, Sandals, & Accessories for Women & Men". Globoshoes.com. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
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- "Kohl's Expands Private Brand Strategy with ALDO Shoes". Mypbrand.com. 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "Kohl's, Aldo Ink Footwear Deal - Business - Footwear News". WWD.com. 2010-06-16. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "YouthAIDS Official Website; PSI.org". PSI. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
- "ALDO + YouthAIDS". Aldoshoes.com. Retrieved 2012-01-23.
- "KraftWorks NYC". KraftWorks NYC. Retrieved 2012-10-20.
- "Fashions Jobs in Canada". Style Nine to Five. 2012-10-11. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- "As Aldo turns 40, footwear empire seeks to expand its international reach | Financial Post". Business.financialpost.com. 2012-10-29. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- "MELIA - Reviews & Brand Information - The Aldo Group Inc./Le Groupe Aldo Inc. Saint-Laurent, Québec, - Serial Number: 85536149". Trademarkia.com. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- "Aldo's global footprint - The Globe and Mail". M.theglobeandmail.com. 2012-08-23. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- Jennings, Danielle. "Pegabo Shoes". Shoes.lovetoknow.com. Retrieved 2013-10-23.
- "ALDO Group International - A Global Product -". aldogroup.com. Retrieved 2014-04-23.
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