US footwear company Caleres is to launch in Greater China, commencing with two from brands from its diverse international portfolio.
The company says it will begin to distribute products in Hong Kong, Macau, Taiwan and Mainland China, commencing with the Naturalizer and Sam Edelman labels, through a joint venture with Brand Investment Holding, a member of the Gemkell Group.
The shoes 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.”
Kwan Heh-Der, CEO of Brand Investment Holding, said the company looks 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”.
“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 this summer, with availability at brick and mortar in an initial group of six new stores in key cities. This summer, the first Naturalizer store will open in Beijing and the first Sam Edelman store in Shanghai. Additional stores are planned for other markets, as the business expands.
Besides Naturalizer and Sam Edelman, Caleres owns the Famous Footwear, Allen Edmonds, Vionic and Dr. Scholl’s Shoes brands. The company has more than 1200 branded retail stores worldwide and also sells through department stores, branded e-commerce sites, and many third-party marketplaces.
Brand Investment Holding is a multi-brand retail management and distribution company based in Shanghai, with retail operations in the Greater China and Asia Pacific regions. Its parent, The Gemkell Group, operates luxury fashion retail boutiques, including Balenciaga, Chloe, Givenchy, Kenzo and Marc Jacobs, in the Asia-Pacific region and is focused on expanding in the Greater China luxury fashion market.