Caleres will begin to distribute footwear in greater China, including Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan, through a joint venture with Brand Investment Holding, a member of the Gemkell Group. Naturalizer and Sam Edelman will be the inaugural brands and both will be marketed and sold across multiple channels, including branded retail stores and e-commerce sites.
“This strategic partnership allows Caleres to continue to expand globally in one of the world’s biggest markets and pairs our footwear expertise and brand strength with Gemkell’s deep knowledge of the Chinese consumer and retail expertise,” said Diane Sullivan, CEO, president and chairman of Caleres. “We believe now is the right time to significantly expand our presence in China and are beginning with Naturalizer, as we look to create fresh momentum with the Chinese consumer, and are also aggressively building on the strong foundation Sam Edelman has established in China over the past few years.”
“We look for opportunities to partner with storied brands like Naturalizer and Sam Edelman, which we find to be well-suited to our expertise in brand management and marketing,” said Kwan Heh-Der, CEO of Brand Investment Holding. “Caleres’ long history in the footwear industry – and its deep understanding of brand marketing, consumer engagement and retail – make the Caleres team a natural complement to our own.”
Both Naturalizer and Sam Edelman will be available online in the summer of 2019, with availability at brick and mortar in an initial group of six new stores in key cities. This summer, the first Naturalizer door will open in Beijing and the first Sam Edelman door will be launched in Shanghai. Additional stores are planned for other markets, as the business expands.
Caleres’s businesses include Famous Footwear, Sam Edelman, Naturalizer, Allen Edmonds, Vionic, and Dr. Scholl’s Shoes.