P.W. Minor Closes After 151 Years In Business

P.W. Minor Closes After 151 Years In Business

P.W. Minor, the second-oldest footwear maker in the U.S., based in Batavia, NY, closed down operations and laid off all 82 of the company’s employees.

Founded in 1867 by two brothers who were both Civil War veterans, the company specialized in orthopedic and diabetic athletic, dress and casual shoes. It operated three key brands: P.W. Minor, Abram Boot Company and the Batavia Boot & Shoe Company. Its subsidiary, Minor Brothers Boot and Shoe Manufacturer, developed several of the country’s leading brands.

A Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification Act notice detailed the reasons for its closure as “economic.”

All assets have been transferred to senior creditor, Batavia Shoes LLC., according to a statement from the company.

“Our focus through this entire process has been on our employees’ well-being. We want to thank them for their dedication, loyalty and hard work,” said P.W. Minor CEO Hundley Elliotte in a statement. “We would also like to thank the NYS Dept. of Labor, the Genesee County Workforce Development Board and the local business community for their responsiveness and offers to help get our affected employees back to work as soon as possible.”

On September 28, P.W. Minor said it would lay off 45 employees as it idled its Goodyear Welt manufacturing line. But the company said its plant in Batavia would remain open and continue to make orthopedic and diabetic footwear.

Batavia, which also claimed to be the U.S..’s oldest women’s shoe manufacturer, has long faced challenges against foreign imports.

In 2014, Batavia was purchased by Batavia businessmen Andrew Young and Peter Zeliff as the business warned of imminent closing. At the time, the state of New York awarded the company about $450,000 to keep its doors open.

In 2015, the company promised to expand and bring 100 jobs back to the Batavia plant that had previously been outsourced to China in exchange for $1.75 million in state tax credits. At that time, the company employed 50 workers at plant.

In February of this year, the company was purchased by Delaware-based investment firm Tidewater + Associates, which says it acquires and builds brands “that are good for people and planet.”