Stride Rite Corporation
|Subsidiary of Wolverine World Wide|
|Traded as||NYSE: WWW|
|Predecessor||Green Shoe Manufacturing Company
Stride Rite Corporation
|Founder||Jacob A. Slosberg
|Blake Krueger, CEO of Wolverine World Wide
Arnold Hiatt, former President
Jacob A. Slosberg, Founder
Philip Green, Founder
|Parent||Wolverine World Wide|
Stride Rite, formerly the Stride Rite Corporation and stylized as stride rite, is an American company that develops, manufactures and markets children's footwear in the United States of America and international markets. It is a major marketer of athletic and casual footwear for children and adults. In addition to the Stride Rite brand, the company is known for designing and manufacturing footwear for co-brands from the Wolverine World Wide group under the following owned or licensed brands: Keds, Grasshoppers, Robeez, Saucony, Sperry Top-Sider, Merrell, Hush Puppies, and Jessica Simpson Kids. They also owned the rights to the defunct children's brand Zips.
The company is a manufacturer and wholesaler of footwear, selling in department stores, independent shoe stores, value retailers, outlet stores, and specialty stores. Stride Rite has company-owned children's shoe stores that carry children's Stride Rite and other company owned children's brands. The company markets products in countries outside the United States and Canada through independent distributors and licensees.
Recent reports have stated that Stride rite will close all stores in 2017 and focus exclusively on e-commerce.
Founding and Early Years
Stride Rite was founded in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1919, as the Green Shoe Manufacturing Company (“Green Shoe”) by Jacob A. Slosberg and Philip Green. After founding the company, Green sold his interest to Slosberg twelve years later and Slosberg's sons Samuel and Charles lead up the company as the heads of sales and manufacturing respectively. Green Shoe became a public company in 1960 and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange.
In 1966 Green Shoe adopted the Stride Rite Corporation name to emphasize the brand name of one of its best-known products. The name was purchased from another shoe manufacturer in 1933.
In 1968 Arnold Hiatt, the son of a Lithuanian immigrant, became president of the firm and sales were $35 million. Hiatt pursued a policy of acquisitions to keep the firm in tune with consumer preferences.
Acquisitions and Expansion
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. During 2005 Stride Rite completed its acquisition of Saucony and in 2006 Stride Rite purchased Robeez.
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. 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.
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.
Wolverine World Wide
In 2012, Stride Rite, 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 $1.23 billion USD.
Stride Rite Stores
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 number of retail stores, as of 2012, 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|
- Strom, Stephanie (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.
- "Collective Brands 2007 Annual Report - Form 10-K - April 1, 2008" (PDF). secdatabase.com. Retrieved 2012-05-16.
- "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.
- "Saucony, Keds and Sperry Acquired by Wolverine Worldwide". Inside Insight. 2012-05-01. Retrieved 2012-12-14.