Stride Rite Corporation

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The Stride Rite Corporation
Subsidiary of Wolverine World Wide
Industry Apparel
Founded 1919
Headquarters Lexington, Massachusetts, U.S.
Products Footwear
Revenue Increase $806.6 million USD (FY 2008)[1]
Decrease $92.4 million USD (FY 2008)[1]
Number of employees
3,100(YE 2008)[1]
Slogan "Life's Waiting. Let's Go."

The Stride Rite Corporation is a marketer of children's footwear in the United States and is a major marketer of athletic and casual footwear for children and adults. In addition to the Stride Rite brand, the company markets footwear under the following owned or licensed brands: Keds, Grasshoppers, Robeez, Saucony, Sperry Top-Sider, and Jessica Simpson Kids.

The company is a wholesaler of footwear, selling in department stores, independent shoe stores, value retailers, and specialty stores. They market products in countries outside the United States and Canada through independent distributors and licensees. Stride Rite also has company-owned children's booteries that carry children's Stride Rite and other company owned children's brands. The company imports most of its products from independent resources in Asia which manufacture footwear according to each brand's specifications and quality standards.


Stride Rite was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1919, as the Green Shoe Manufacturing Company (“Green Shoe”) by Jacob A. Slosberg and Philip Green. Green sold his interest to Slosberg twelve years later. Jacob's sons Samuel and Charles were heads of sales and manufacturing respectively. Green Shoe became a public company in 1960 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange. It adopted the Stride Rite Corporation name in 1966 to emphasize the brand name of one of its best-known products.[citation needed] The name was purchased from another shoe manufacturer in 1933.[2] In 1968, the son of a Lithuanian immigrant, Arnold Hiatt, became president of the firm, and sales were $35 million.[3] Hiatt pursued a policy of acquisitions to keep the firm in tune with consumer preferences.[3]

Three times in a row in the last two decades there have been major changes in the consumer taste in footwear, and he's been there every time with a new acquisition.

— Steven Nichols, a Stride Rite alumnus.[3]

Stride Rite’s first retail store was opened in 1972. The Sperry Top-Sider and Keds brand names were purchased from Uniroyal in 1979. Stride Rite purchased Toddler University in 1994.[4] During 2005 Stride Rite completed its acquisition of Saucony and in 2006 Stride Rite purchased Robeez.[5]

Hiatt was instrumental in bringing in socially conscious business methods such as opening a day care center in 1971, banning smoking in 1986, and sponsoring 40 inner-city youth to attend Harvard University, Hiatt's alma mater.[3] In 1992, Hiatt stepped down as chairman to pursue philanthropy through the company's foundation, and he has become a staunch advocate for electoral reform.[6] He contributed $500,000 to the Democratic Party in 1996,[7] and at a private meeting with then-president Bill Clinton and other sizeable campaign contributors, urged the president to get money out of politics, but was rebuffed. Later, he was praised by Harvard Law School professor Lawrence Lessig for his advocacy of electoral reform.[8]

My own special interest is to get special-interest money out of the political process. The influence of that money indirectly costs taxpayers far more than the costs of liberating the electoral process from the special-interest lobbyists.

— Arnold Hiatt, 2007[9]

In 2007, Payless ShoeSource of Topeka, Kansas acquired Stride Rite. On August 16, 2007, the company changed its name to Collective Brands, Inc. By 2009, it was announced that Stride Rite would operate under the further-revised name of Collective Brands Performance + Lifestyle Group.[10]

In 2012, Stride Rite, along with Keds, Sperry Top-Sider and Saucony, became part of Wolverine World Wide after a joint agreement with Blum Capital Partners and Golden Gate Capital acquired the Performance Lifestyle Group of Collective Brands for US$1.23 billion.[11]

Stride Rite retail[edit]

Stride Rite at the Natick Mall

Stride Rite retail children’s stores are located primarily in larger regional shopping centers, clustered generally in the major marketing areas of the U.S. The average size of a Stride Rite retail children’s store is approximately 1,700 square feet (160 m2). Stride Rite outlet stores average approximately 2,800 square feet (260 m2) because outlet stores carry a broad range of footwear for adults in addition to children’s footwear. Most outlet stores are located in shopping centers consisting only of outlet stores. At the end of 2007, each Stride Rite retail store carried on average approximately 8,900 pairs of shoes. By including materially remodeled stores in our calculation as new stores, Stride Rite retail segment stores were on average approximately nine years old at the end of 2007.

The number of retail stores by type for the Stride Rite Retail segment is represented in the table below.

Stride Rite children's stores Outlet stores Leased children's shoe departments Total Stride Rite retail stores
231 102 7 (at Macy's) 340

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c "Collective Brands 2009 Annual Report - Form 10-K - March 26, 2010." (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-16.  Page 6
  2. ^ [1]
  3. ^ a b c d STEPHANIE STROM (April 20, 1992). "Stride Rite Chairman To Resign". The New York Times. Retrieved 2011-12-13. Arnold Hiatt, the shoe salesman who pioneered no-smoking offices and child care at the work place, is stepping down as chairman of the Stride Rite Corporation to devote himself full time to the company's philanthropic foundation. 
  4. ^ [2]
  5. ^ "Collective Brands 2007 Annual Report - Form 10-K - April 1, 2008." (PDF). Retrieved 2012-05-16. 
  6. ^ "Groups Launch Push for New Campaign Finance Bill". CBS News. July 8, 2010. Retrieved 2011-12-13. Among those financing the effort is Arnold Hiatt, the former CEO of Stride Rite Corp. and major Democratic Party contributor who earlier this year urged other big political donors to give only to candidates who committed to support the legislation. 
  7. ^ Dwight L. Morris (December 12, 1996). "The Soft Money Trail". Washington Post. Retrieved 2011-12-13. Arnold Hiatt, former chairman of Stride Rite Corporation and current chairman of the Stride Rite Foundation, wrote one check for $500,000 – the single largest individual contribution to the DNC. 
  8. ^ Lawrence Lessig (August 25, 2011). "The Good Soul Howard Schultz: Exploiting an Addict Rather Than Ending an Addiction". Huffington Post. Retrieved 2011-12-13. That was the objective of Arnold Hiatt (former CEO of Stride Rite) and Alan Hassenfeld (former Chairman of Hasbro, Inc.) when they launched a similar campaign just last year, by writing (PDF) to the largest campaign funders, and asking them to withhold funds from any candidate who didn't pledge to support the Fair Elections Now Act -- a bill that would give candidates the chance to opt out of special interest funding, and into a voluntary system that would limit campaign contributions to $100, with each contribution matched 4 to 1 by the government. 
  9. ^ Arnold Hiatt (editorial writer) (August 28, 2007). "May the best fund-raiser win?". Boston Globe. Retrieved 2011-12-13. Clearly, the way we finance elections is undermining our democracy. ... 
  10. ^ [3]
  11. ^ "Saucony, Keds and Sperry Acquired by Wolverine Worldwide". Inside Insight. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-12-14. 

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