Red Wing, Minnesota (PRESS RELEASE – January 24, 2011) – Red Wing Shoe Company announced plans to expand its Red Wing Shoe Store network by more than 20 percent over the next five years. The goal is to expand independent ownership of Red Wing Shoe Stores in key growth markets and bring the Red Wing Shoe Store experience and purpose-built footwear to modern workers across the country. There are currently more than 425 Red Wing Shoe Stores in the United States, with close to 70 percent of those stores being independently owned and operated.
The influx of big-box retailers has adversely affected independent shoe stores across the country, driving customer demand for the Red Wing Shoe Store “sit-and-fit” experience, combined with knowledgeable sales associates and a large selection of purpose-built work footwear. Historically, the most successful Red Wing Shoe Stores have been those where a local owner is present and involved on a daily basis.
“With more than 60 years of retailing experience, we remain committed to being the premier retail destination for work footwear,” said David Murphy, president and COO of Red Wing Shoe Company. “Our customers expect specialized solutions to their work footwear needs and deserve the convenience and customer service found at Red Wing Shoe Stores.”
A recent International Franchise Association (IFA) report, “Franchise Business Leader Survey,” shows 81 percent of U.S. franchisors expect same-store sales to increase in 2011, with 74 percent expecting to see “moderate to significant increases” in sales. Owning a Red Wing Shoe Store provides independent owners a unique investment opportunity. Benefits include no franchise fees, no marketing fund contributions and no royalties paid to Red Wing Shoe Company. In addition, every Red Wing Shoe Store enjoys access to custom business systems, standardized store fixtures, national advertising support, professionally designed marketing materials and in-field retail professionals. Initial investment costs consist primarily of footwear inventory and store build-out expenses.
“Our Red Wing Shoe Store owners are the most important advocates and representatives of the Red Wing brand,” said Murphy. “We are a global brand built on local relationships – these principles will continue to be the core of our business.”
Red Wing Shoe Stores are generally located in larger metropolitan areas with a population base of approximately 100,000 or more people. These more populated areas provide a strong customer base of workers needing purpose-built footwear and, in return, help provide a strong customer base for independent store owners.
About Red Wing Shoe Company
Based in Red Wing, Minnesota, the Red Wing Shoe Company is a leading manufacturer of premium work and outdoor footwear. Since 1905, Red Wing Shoe Company has offered a unique blend of quality and performance. Product lines range from traditional work boots that have been the staple of skilled workers for the past century to outdoor footwear. Brands include Red Wing, WORX, Vasque, Irish Setter and Carhartt.