WESTLAKE VILLAGE, CA--(Marketwired - August 12, 2016) - The Walking Company, the leading specialty retailer of comfort footwear, today announced the acquisition of FootSmart, a division of Benchmark Brands, Inc. through a UCC Article 9 asset purchase conducted by a major national commercial bank. Founded in 1989, FootSmart is a direct retailer of foot and lower body health products that sold their products through an ecommerce site and mail-order catalog operation, and who recently fell under financial distress.
Utilizing The Walking Company's financial strength, merchandising expertise, industry tested management and operational practices, FootSmart will be rebuilt to offer customers a more compelling product assortment and a more advanced online shopping experience. The catalog program will immediately be suspended and excess inventory liquidated. The ecommerce site will be relaunched in spring 2017 on an updated platform with improved mobile capabilities and a customer loyalty program.
"We are excited to expand our business and confident this will accelerate our growth, build our omni-channel selling strategy and provide significant benefits to our customers and vendors," began Andrew Feshbach, Chief Executive Officer at The Walking Company. "There is a strong alignment between our companies and customer bases, and this strategic acquisition will allow us to offer the most comprehensive product assortment and shopping experience in the comfort footwear category."
FootSmart will operate as a distinct business within The Walking Company portfolio positioned as the complete online superstore for comfort footwear and accessories, and their customers will also gain access to The Walking Company's innovative in-store personalized boutique experience to find the perfect customized fit. The combined resources of The Walking Company and FootSmart will provide consumers with an unparalleled choice of comfort footwear products and shopping platforms.
There will be an informational meeting on the acquisition for vendors at the FN Platform show in the Las Vegas Convention Center, room S113 at 5:00pm on Monday, August 15.
ABOUT THE WALKING COMPANY
The Walking Company® is the leading national specialty retailer of high-quality, technically designed comfort footwear and accessories, and offers a selection of premium comfort brands including ABEO®, Dansko®, UGG® Australia and many others. The Walking Company operates over 200 stores in premium malls across the nation and the company's website at www.thewalkingcompany.com.
Founded in 1989, FootSmart sells more than 3,000 comfort footwear, health and pain-relieving products online at FootSmart.com, and mail-order catalogs. Beyond its depth of retail products, FootSmart is an authoritative resource in the selection and recommendation of the best comfort footwear.