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Sunday, 23 December 2012 23:45

Blake W. Krueger, Chairman/CEO/President, Wolverine World Wide Inc.

Written by  MiBiz Staff
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Blake W. Krueger, Chairman/CEO/President, Wolverine World Wide Inc. PHOTO: Jeff Hage

In 2012, Wolverine World Wide completed one of the largest acquisitions ever in the footwear industry when it bought Collective Brands’ Performance + Lifestyle Group for $1.24 billion. The deal transforms Wolverine into the third-largest footwear company in the world behind giants Nike and Adidas.

“Given that Wolverine markets 16 footwear brands in over 200 countries and territories around the world, taking a global view of the macro-economic environment is inherent in our DNA and mindset.

“For the next several years, we expect the global economic environment to continue to be more volatile and challenging than the historical norm. While each region has its own challenges, slow (or slowing) GDP growth, low consumer confidence and double-dip recessions appear to be universally front-and-center concerns. Fundamentally, the world is in the process of deleveraging, with many municipalities, states and countries overspending and overpromising for the last 50 years. On this scale, deleveraging will be politically and socially very difficult, as we have already begun to see in Europe.

“However, there are always winners in every macro-economic environment and opportunities to generate growth — it just takes more focus and commitment than it does when times are good. For example, my team has been able to drive company revenue to record levels in four of the last five years. How was this achieved? By the relentless execution of our ‘three-legged’ global brand-building model, which is centered on — 1) innovative footwear; 2) brand extensions into apparel and accessories; and 3) the expansion of our consumer-direct businesses. Finally, while the footwear industry is not recession-proof, there is always a good deal of consumer ‘need’ as well as ‘want,’ allowing our industry to do relatively well in more challenging times because the purchase of a new pair of shoes can be an easy way for a person to feel good when times are tough.”

Read 6718 times Last modified on Thursday, 20 December 2012 20:23

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