Wolverine World Wide Inc., a Rockford-based (north of Grand Rapids) marketer and licensor of branded apparel, has announced a partnership with the United Kingdom’s Gardiners Footwear Specialists, under which Gardiners will be the sole distributor of the company’s Sperry products to retailers and consumers across the U.K. Wolverine World Wide Inc. is the parent company of Sperry.
“This exciting partnership with our new friends at Gardiners comes at a perfect time when Wolverine Worldwide is striving to accelerate digital growth across our portfolio of brands,” sasy Andy Hewat, senior brand director for Sperry and Keds. “Gardiners’ market expertise and knowledge, paired with their strong independent salesforce, will allow us to amplify the Sperry brand in an important international market and increase traffic to our Sperry UK eCommerce channel.”
The partnership follows a three-year distribution relationship in the region between Wolverine and Zone Two Ltd. Retailers in the U.K. interested in selling Sperry products should contact Gardiners or Sperry.
“We are thrilled to be teaming up with Wolverine Worldwide to help deliver the iconic Sperry brand into the U.K.,” said Ben Gardiner, buying director at Gardiners. “Sperry, with its true heritage, is poised for growth, and we will bring wider ranges to the UK with greater stock backing and excellent service. It’s an exciting time for genuine brands, and Gardiners can deliver into the relevant channels.”
Wolverine was founded in 1883. Its portfolio includes Sperry, Hush Puppies, Wolverine, Keds, Stride Rite, and others. It is also the global footwear licensee of the Harley-Davidson brand. In 2019, it posted revenue of nearly $2.3 billion and had approximately 4,000 domestic and foreign production, office, and sales employees.
The company’s products are marketed worldwide in approximately 170 countries and territories through owned operations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, and certain countries in continental Europe and Asia Pacific. In other regions (Latin America, portions of Europe and Asia Pacific, the Middle East, and Africa), the company relies on a network of third-party distributors, licensees, and joint ventures.
Sperry was founded in 1935 and offers boat shoe-inspired apparel available in North and South America, Asia, and Europe. It is based in Massachusetts.
Gardiners was founded in 1860.