Wolverine Worldwide CEO: Need to focus on consumer direct business

Wolverine Worldwide CEO: Need to focus on consumer direct business

Wolverine Worldwide CEO Blake Krueger says the footwear giant’s consumer direct business will be a focus this year

“We’ve got to make this a bigger, more important part of our business,” Krueger said during an annual shareholders meeting Wednesday, April 23 at Wolverine Worldwide’s Rockford headquarters.

Wolverine designs and markets more than 100 million pairs of shoes, under many brands from Merrell to Sperry Top-Sider, annually that are sold around the world.

The company’s complex business model of 16 different brands in more than 200 countries countries and territories protects the company from being dependent on one on fashion trend or market.

Krueger credits the company’s business model as the main reason Wolverine continues to grow revenues despite the global volatility caused by economic or political situations, over the last six years.

He said the last year, the company updated its 2020 plan, which calls for continuing to build the Wolverine’s global presence beyond footwear to apparel and accessories.

“If the consumer is inviting you to participate in more than one category, whether its apparel or a cluster of categories, that’s an advantage,” Krueger said. “We are focused on creating full lifestyle brands and rolling out lifestyle stores around the world.”

Longtime board member Alberto L. Grimoldi, who is retiring from the board, said he was pleased with how much the company has grown, especially in recent years. Acqusitions have been a key strategy to that success.

“We bought Merrell when it was nothing, and it’s now a $500 million company,” Grimoldi said after the shareholders meeting.