Johnston & Murphy

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
  (Redirected from Johnston and Murphy)
Jump to: navigation, search
Johnston & Murphy
Industry Apparel
Predecessor William J. Dudley Shoe Company,
The James Johnston Company
Founded Newark, NJ, United States (1850 (1850))
Founder William J. Dudley,
James Johnston,
William A. Murphy
Headquarters Nashville, TN, United States
Number of locations
Area served
United States & 91 foreign countries
Products Shoes, Apparel, Leather goods, Luggage
Revenue Increase US$245,941,000 (Fiscal year ending 2014)
Increase US$17,638,000 (Fiscal year ending 2014)
Total assets US$97,532,000
Parent Genesco (1951–present)
Divisions Retail Operations, Wholesale
Footnotes / references
,[1] [2]

Johnston & Murphy is a U.S. based footwear and clothing company. A wholly owned subsidiary of Genesco Inc. and based in Nashville, Tennessee, Johnston & Murphy designs, sources, markets and distributes footwear, apparel, leather goods and luggage.[1][3] The Johnston & Murphy Group is divided into two operating divisions: Retail Operations and Wholesale.[4] The Retail Operations division sells Johnston & Murphy branded products for men and women to customers in the United States and 92 foreign countries via the website and sells products to customers in the United States via direct mail catalogs and 168 company-owned retail shops located in malls and airports and company-owned factory stores located in outlet malls.[2] The Wholesale division distributes footwear products to more than 2100 department stores and independent specialty shops located in the United States and 15 foreign countries.


Johnston & Murphy traces its roots to the William J. Dudley Shoe Company, founded in 1850 in Newark, New Jersey by William J. Dudley, a European immigrant and master craftsman who had been schooled in the classic tradition of English shoemaking.[5]

The William J. Dudley Shoe Company specialized in quality, highly durable work shoes for men, women and children. During its first 25 years, the company's growth forced five moves to increasingly larger locations. In 1880, Newark businessman James Johnston joined the company as Dudley's partner. Johnston's vision was to expand product lines and distribution channels. The company took the durability of its work shoes and built that into a line of higher-fashion footwear, which quickly became popular. In 1881, founder William Dudley died, and Johnston assumed control of the company under a new name, The James Johnston Company.

In 1884, William A. Murphy, another prominent Newark businessman from a distinguished family was intrigued by the success of Johnston's local shoe company. A partnership was formed, and the company became known as Johnston & Murphy.

In 1895, Murphy sold his interest in the company to Herbert P. Gleason, a former top salesman of the company. Gleason knew the value of a recognized brand name and decided to keep the Johnston & Murphy name as well as establish a national sales and marketing force. In the 1920s, Gleason's son, George Gleason, coined the company's first slogan, "The best shoes anybody can buy." He also developed a series of "handsome lifestyle" advertisements and ran campaigns in high-profile magazines such as Vanity Fair and The Saturday Evening Post. Ads featured the Country Club Series, a line of golf shoes, which became one of Johnston & Murphy's most popular.

Genesco (then General Shoe Corporation) purchased Johnston & Murphy in 1951. Genesco closed Johnston & Murphy's Newark, New Jersey location and moved the operations to Genesco's headquarters city of Nashville, Tennessee.

In 1971, Johnston & Murphy opened its first retail shop in Schaumburg, Illinois. Johnston & Murphy then expanded its retail operations in specialty shops and department stores nationwide and in 1983, the company opened the first Johnston & Murphy Factory Store in Clearwater, Florida. In the '80s, Johnston & Murphy also launched its direct mail catalog featuring men's footwear. In 1996, Johnston & Murphy started opening stores in busy airports, train stations and on prominent streets to better reach professional men on the go.[1]


In 1996, Johnston & Murphy launched its official website. In 1998, Johnston & Murphy opened a flagship on the corner of Madison and 54th Street in New York City and started signing licensing agreements for collections of belts, hosiery, shoe care products, leather outerwear and small leather goods.[1] The company has since expanded the men's line to include business cases and luggage.

Johnston & Murphy introduced a new line of women’s footwear, leather goods, accessories and outerwear in the fall of 2008.[6]

Johnston & Murphy's Retail Operations division operates 160 company owned stores and sells products via direct mail catalogs and via the company's web site. The Wholesale division sells Johnston & Murphy branded shoes to more than 2,100 premier department and specialty stores, direct mail and on its web site.[7][8]

Johnston & Murphy branded products are manufactured by independent, third-party contractors.[9]

In November 2010, to highlight a new line of Johnston & Murphy men’s comfort shoes, the XC4 collection, the brand asked consumers, by way of juxtaposition, for their most uncomfortable moments in their online Ultimate Comfort Contest. The letters in XC4 are meant to stand for “extreme comfort,” while the number alludes to four aspects of the shoes: they are moisture-wicking, light weight, have additional cushioning and include an extra removable insole to ensure proper fit. XC4 styles are available in dress casual and casual styles – representative of Johnston & Murphy's shift to offering more casual footwear in addition to traditional dress shoes.[10] Horween Leather Company in Chicago supplies leather shells for footwear to Johnston & Murphy.[11][12][13]


  1. ^ a b c d 2010, p. about_history.aspx.
  2. ^ a b Genesco Annual Report 2010, p. 30.
  3. ^ Genesco Annual Report 2010, p. 47.
  4. ^ Genesco Annual Report 2010, p. 20, 21.
  5. ^ Newman, Adam Andrew (December 22, 2010). "Collecting Humiliations of Life to Sell Comfort in Shoes". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Nashville Business Journal 2008-08-15.
  7. ^ "Genesco – About Genesco". Genesco Inc. 2010. Archived from the original on October 5, 2010. Retrieved October 4, 2010. 
  8. ^ "Genesco Annual Report". Genesco Annual Report. Genesco Inc. 2014. Archived from the original (PDF) on October 5, 2010. Retrieved May 8, 2014. 
  9. ^ 2010, p. about_genesco.
  10. ^ Newman 2010-12-20.
  11. ^ "A Brief History « Horween Leather Company". Archived from the original on July 5, 2013. Retrieved March 28, 2013. 
  12. ^ Horween Leather Company. Retrieved March 26, 2013. 
  13. ^ "Horween's leather bound by tradition". Chicago Tribune. October 27, 2003. Retrieved March 27, 2013. 

External links[edit]