The parent company of DSW continues to expand its growing portfolio of owned brands.
Designer Brands Inc. is acquiring Topo Athletic in a move that will bring the company into the premium athletic footwear category. As part of the agreement, Topo founder and CEO Tony Post will join the company as CEO of Topo and report to Bill Jordan, president of Designer Brands.
The Topo acquisition is another step forward toward Designer Brands’ previously announced goal to double the sales of owned brands by 2026. Topo, whose footwear is designed for running, walking, hiking and overall comfort, is poised for meaningful growth with top-tier product, reputation and distribution already in place, Designer Brands said.
The Topo acquisition further diversifies the company’s portfolio of owned brands, which includes Vince Camuto, Jessica Simpson, Crown Vintage, Mix No. 6, Lucky Brand and Kelly & Katie. Earlier this year, the company acquired apparel brand Le Tigre.
Owned sales at Designer Brands rose 25% during the company’s most recent third quarter, and made up 26.5% of total net for the period compared to 21.5% in the year-ago period.
"Topo represents another exciting growth opportunity for Designer Brands and further propels us to our goal of doubling sales of our owned brands by 2026," said Jordan. " We are confident Topo will continue to strengthen our owned brands portfolio and help extend our reach around the world."
Based in Framingham, Mass., Topo was founded by Post in 2012. Prior to that, he was senior VP of product and marketing at The Rockport Company. He then served as CEO of Vibram USA, managing both the U.S. sole business and launching Vibram FiveFingers (best known for its shoe with the five delineated toes.)
"Topo's focus on helping people achieve healthy lifestyle goals aligns perfectly with Designer Brands' mission to inspire self-expression," said Post. "We found synergy with their management team from our first meeting. They understand our brand mission, they support our strategy and focus around specialty retail and they're excited about our growing global footprint. Nothing really changes in our strategy, distribution direction or the management team.”
“Tony Post's visionary leadership reminds us why the best athletic shoes must deliver a better experience, so our customers become passionate about our brands,” said Jordan.
The Consello Group served as financial advisor, and Porter Wright Morris & Arthur LLP served as legal advisor to Designer Brands. Consensus served as financial advisor, and Goodwin Procter served as legal advisor to Topo.
Designer Brands delivers on-trend footwear and accessories through its robust direct-to-consumer omnichannel infrastructure, with a billion-dollar digital commerce business and nearly 650 stores across the U.S. and Canada operating under the DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse and The Shoe Company banners.
Designer Brands also distributes its owned brands through select wholesale relationships while leveraging its design and sourcing expertise to build private label product for national retailers.