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Published in Manufacturing

Wolverine World Wide embraces digital-first approach, hires new e-commerce executive

BY Thursday, January 07, 2021 04:34pm

ROCKFORD — Footwear manufacturer Wolverine World Wide Inc. has shifted its focus to the e-commerce segment of its business complete with a new hire.

Earlier this week, the company announced that Matt Blonder would take over as the new president of Global eCommerce at Wolverine (NYSE:WWW), which features a portfolio of top footwear brands like Sperry, Keds and Hush Puppies. 

Matt Blonder COURTESY PHOTO

Blonder — who most recently served as Global Head of Digital at Reebok — brings to the role 20 years of omni-channel, consumer direct, digital marketing and merchandising experience.

Blonder will report to Brendan Hoffman, who was hired as Wolverine Worldwide’s president last summer.

“Wolverine Worldwide witnessed a dramatic change in consumer behavior last year, highlighted by a significant shift to eCommerce and heightened digital engagement,” Hoffman said in a statement. “We capitalized on this by accelerating our pivot to a digital-first strategy and expanding our digital investments and capabilities, all aimed at engaging consumers online with pinnacle brand experiences, fresh and innovative product and compelling storytelling.”

Hoffman added that the company’s “ongoing digital transformation” includes a $500 million global e-commerce revenue goal in 2021. 

E-commerce helped carry Wolverine in its latest earnings report, released in November, as the company navigated through the financial fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Reporting $493.1 million in revenue for the quarter, down 14.1 percent, e-commerce revenue jumped 56.4 percent year-over-year, helping to slow down the loss.

Wolverine’s owned e-commerce business, and the online business of its wholesale partners, accounted for more than 40 percent of its U.S. revenue in that quarter.

Zwiers takes on new role

Wolverine also announced this week that Jim Zwiers would become president of the Global Operations Group, responsible for sourcing, logistics, distribution, customer service and information technology.

Zwiers, a 23-year veteran with the company, takes over the role from Mike Jeppesen, who is retiring after nine years with Wolverine and more than three decades in the footwear industry. Jeppesen will serve in an advisory role with the company to assist with the transition.

Zwiers also continues on in his role as president of the International Group, a position that he has held since 2013. He will also remain the executive vice president of the company.

“Jim is uniquely and ideally suited to lead the Global Operations Group, and I could not be more pleased with this expansion of his role,” Wolverine Chairman and CEO Blake Krueger said in a statement. “His extensive experience with the company’s brands and international operations, coupled with his digital background and successful implementation of speed-to-market initiatives, will help accelerate the company’s digital-first transformation and global e-commerce growth.”

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