Discounter Payless ShoeSource Inc. yesterday said it is buying Lexington shoe company Stride Rite Corp. for about $800 million as a way to grab a bigger share of the fast-growing branded and children’s footwear sectors.
Stride Rite, which owns or licenses upscale footwear lines Sperry Top-Sider, Keds, and Saucony, said the business needed to join a company with bigger resources to better compete against rivals in the wake of industry consolidation. Up until now, Stride Rite had aggressively acquired firms, recently scooping up high-end children’s shoemaker Robeez and Peabody sneaker company Saucony.
Payless said it would not introduce Stride Rite’s lines into its nearly 4,600 stores, but rather sell the brands in other stores to expand the business. The combined company, with about $3.7 billion in revenue, will be renamed Collective Brands Inc. and headquartered in Topeka, Kan.
It looks as if weâ€™ll soon be able to buy Stride Rite shoes at a variety of stores. Yay! Iâ€™ve got my fingers crossed that maybe now theyâ€™ll go on sale once in a while.
It will be interesting to see how this change impacts our local Stride Rite store (as well as Stride Rite outlets).