Designer Brands Acquires Topo Athletic, Accelerating Owned Brands in Leading Shoe Sales Category
Latest Portfolio Addition Reinforces Successful Brand-Building Strategy
COLUMBUS, Ohio, Dec. 19, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- Designer Brands Inc. (NYSE: DBI) (the “Company” and “Designer Brands”), one of the world’s largest designers, producers and retailers of footwear and accessories, today announced the acquisition of Topo Athletic (“Topo”). The transaction expands the Company’s reach into the critical performance athletic and outdoor footwear categories. Topo’s founder and CEO, Tony Post, will remain with the Company as CEO of Topo, and report to Bill Jordan, president of Designer Brands.
Topo, a footwear category disrupter known for its distinctive, award-winning fit and feel, brings Designer Brands’ Owned Brand business immediately into the premium athletic category. Topo footwear, designed for running, walking, hiking and overall comfort, is already recognized in their category across the U.S. and internationally. Led by founder Post, Topo is poised for meaningful growth with top-tier product, reputation and distribution already in place. Prior to starting Topo in 2012, Post was senior vice president of product and marketing at The Rockport Company, then served as CEO of Vibram USA, managing both the U.S. sole business and launching Vibram FiveFingers. This vast experience and DNA for innovation makes Topo such a strong fit for Designer Brands’ own innovative approach to growth. Topo further diversifies Designer Brands’ broader portfolio of Owned Brands, which includes Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson, Crown Vintage, Mix No. 6, Lucky Brand and Kelly & Katie, comprising six of the top 50 fashion brands at Designer Brands and will now also grow in the hyper-important athletic and athleisure space with Topo and the Company’s previously announced LeTigre acquisition.
“Topo represents another exciting growth opportunity for Designer Brands and further propels us to our goal of doubling sales of our Owned Brands by 2026,” said Jordan. “Tony Post’s visionary leadership reminds us why the best athletic shoes must deliver a better experience, so our customers become passionate about our brands. Designer Brands continues to control its destiny with more than 30 million customers in its loyalty programs, more than 700 points of distribution and three online platforms that total more than $1 billion in sales. Following our most recent year-over-year quarterly sales increase of 25% in Owned Brands and 33% within our Direct-to-Consumer channels, we are confident Topo will continue to strengthen our Owned Brands portfolio and help extend our reach around the world.”
“Topo’s focus on helping people achieve healthy lifestyle goals aligns perfectly with Designer Brands’ mission to inspire self-expression,” said Post. “We found synergy with their management team from our first meeting. They understand our brand mission, they support our strategy and focus around specialty retail and they’re excited about our growing global footprint. Nothing really changes in our strategy, distribution direction or the management team. Designer Brands brings a deep set of resources that will help Topo continue to grow, innovate and deliver a better experience for our customers for years to come.”
The Consello Group served as financial advisor, and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP served as legal advisor to Designer Brands. Consensus served as financial advisor, and Goodwin Procter served as legal advisor to Topo.
About Designer Brands
Designer Brands is one of the world’s largest designers, producers and retailers of the most recognizable footwear brands and accessories, transforming and defining the footwear industry by inspiring self-expression across every facet of its enterprise. Through its portfolio of world-class owned brands, led by the industry-setting Vince Camuto brand, Designer Brands delivers on-trend footwear and accessories through its robust direct-to-consumer omni-channel infrastructure, featuring a billion-dollar digital commerce business and nearly 650 stores across the US and Canada. Its retailing operations under the DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse and The Shoe Company banners deliver current, in-line footwear and accessories from most of the largest national brands in the industry and hold leading market share positions in key product categories across Women’s, Men’s and Kid’s in the US and Canada. Designer Brands also distributes its owned brands through select wholesale relationships while leveraging its design and sourcing expertise to build private label product for national retailers. Designer Brands Inc. is also committed to being a difference maker in the world, taking steps forward to advance diversity, equity, and inclusion in the footwear industry and supporting our global community and the health of our planet through donating more than six million pairs of shoes to the global non-profit Soles4Souls. More information can be found at www.designerbrands.com.
About Topo Athletic
Topo Athletic creates footwear that honors the shape and biomechanics of the human foot. Rising above the industry’s gimmicks and trends, Topo Athletic’s products encourage instinctive and natural movement to help deliver a better running and fitness experience. Headquartered in Framingham, MA, Topo was founded in 2012 by Tony Post – an industry veteran with over 35 years of shoemaking, marketing and competitive running experience. For more information, please visit www.topoathletic.com and follow on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter @topoathletic.
Safe Harbor Statement under the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995
Certain statements in this press release may constitute forward-looking statements and are made pursuant to the safe harbor provisions of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. You can identify these forward-looking statements by the use of forward-looking words such as “outlook,” “could,” “believes,” “expects,” “potential,” “continues,” “may,” “will,” “should,” “would,” “seeks,” “approximately,” “predicts,” “intends,” “plans,” “estimates,” “anticipates,” or the negative version of those words or other comparable words. These statements are based on the Company’s current views and expectations and involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties, and other factors that may cause actual results, performance, or achievements to be materially different from any future results, performance, or achievements expressed or implied by the forward-looking statements. These factors include, but are not limited to: our ability to successfully integrate acquired businesses, such as Topo; risks and uncertainties related to the ongoing coronavirus (“COVID-19″) pandemic, any future COVID-19 resurgence, and any other adverse public health developments; risks that recent inflationary pressures, including higher freight costs, could have on our results of operations and customer demand based on pricing actions and operating measures taken to mitigate the impact of inflation; uncertain general economic conditions, including inflation and supply chain pressures, domestic and global political and social conditions and the potential impact of geopolitical turmoil or conflict, and the related impacts to consumer discretionary spending; our ability to execute on our long-term strategic plans; our ability to anticipate and respond to fashion trends, consumer preferences, and changing customer expectations; our ability to maintain strong relationships with our vendors, manufacturers, licensors, and retailer customers; risks related to losses or disruptions associated with our distribution systems, including our distribution centers and fulfillment center and stores, whether as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, reliance on third-party providers, or otherwise; our reliance on our loyalty programs and marketing to drive traffic, sales, and customer loyalty; risks related to cyber security threats and privacy or data security breaches or the potential loss or disruption of our information systems; our ability to protect our reputation and to maintain the brands we license; our competitiveness with respect to style, price, brand availability, and customer service; risks related to our international operations, including international trade, our reliance on foreign sources for merchandise, exposure to political, economic, operational, and compliance and other risks, and fluctuations in foreign currency exchange rates; our ability to comply with privacy laws and regulations, as well as other legal obligations; risks associated with climate change and other corporate responsibility issues; and uncertainties related to future legislation, regulatory reform, policy changes, or interpretive guidance on existing legislation. Risks and other factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from our forward-looking statements are described in the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended January 29, 2022 and in our other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. All forward-looking statements speak only as of the time when made. Except as may be required by law, the Company undertakes no obligation to update or revise the forward-looking statements included in this press release to reflect any future events or circumstances.
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SOURCE Designer Brands Inc.