Wolverine World Wide inks deal with Chinese sportswear retailer Xtep
American footwear marketing and licensing company Wolverine World Wide, Inc. has entered into a joint venture agreement with Chinese sportswear retailer Xtep International Holdings Limited to develop, market and distribute Merrell and Saucony products in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau.
The joint venture is expected to commence in the back half of 2019, according to a press statement. The transaction marks the latest development in Wolverine’s near-term plan to make strategic investments in key international markets.
Xtep operates over 6,200 stores in 31 provinces and municipalities across China, including a strong network of distributors and shopping mall operators. Through the joint venture, the company plans to open new stores under the Merrell and Saucony banners, with the majority slated for shopping malls in China’s larger cities. In addition, the company plans to increase the presence for these brands in Hong Kong and Macau.
“Wolverine is extremely pleased to partner with Xtep to accelerate the growth of two of our best-known global brands – Saucony and Merrell – in the critical markets of mainland China, Hong Kong and Macau,” said Blake W. Krueger, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Wolverine.
“We have seen incredible sportswear growth in these markets, and our brands are now poised to excel as we engage Xtep’s significant retail presence and regional expertise to tap into the booming running and outdoor sectors.”
“We are delighted to have Wolverine, a global company with a portfolio of premium brands, as our partner," said Ding Shui Po, chairman and chief executive officer of Xtep. "We look forward to working shoulder-to-shoulder with them to seize the numerous business opportunities we see in these key Asian markets."
In addition to Saucony and Merrell, Wolverine's portfolio of brands includes Sperry, Hush Puppies, Wolverine, Keds and Stride Rite, among others.
Additionally, the company currently operates as the global footwear licensee of the brands Cat and Harley-Davidson. Wolverine World Wide’s products are carried by retailers in the U.S. and globally, across approximately 200 countries and territories.
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