Collective Brands Expands European Operations

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Lexington, MA–Footwear company Collective Brands has bolstered its set-up in Europe to take advantage of growing demand for brands like Saucony, Keds, Sperry Top-Sider, Stride Rite and Robeez.

The company said Tuesday that its Performance + Lifestyle Group (PLG) has opened a new combined European headquarters and distribution centre facility in Heerhugowaard, near Amsterdam in the Netherlands, as well as a new London-based showroom.

“We’ve seen growing international demand for our Performance + Lifestyle Group brands over the past several quarters, especially from the European market, and our investment here in Europe in these new facilities, as well as expanding our European associate base, will help us meet this increasing demand head on,” said Matt Rubel, ceo of Collective Brands Inc. “We have a solid presence here, but see more demand across the continent.”

Its brands–which include footwear, accessories and apparel–already have a broad presence in key European countries such as the UK, Germany, Italy and France. But the company also plans to continue its expansion across the continent by working closely with distributor partners and directly with retailers.

The European headquarters in Heerhugowaard consolidates several warehouses and a main distribution centre into a single, larger unit–more than triple the capacity of the former facilities. It includes 80,000 square feet of warehouse space and 13,600 square feet of office and showroom space. This move will improve both the volume and speed of product distribution to an expanding group of retail partners and distributors for the company’s branded products.

Over the past two years, PLG has more than doubled the number of employees in its European operations, and expects to hire around 20 more workers by the end of this year in merchandising, marketing and distribution center roles.

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