Rockford, Mich. -- Wolverine Worldwide said it plans to close about 140 stores, primarily under the Stride Rite banner, over the next 18 months as part of a strategic realignment plan to accelerate growth and improve overall profitability. About 60 stores will close by the end of the current fiscal year, with the rest to be shuttered by the end of 2015.
Wolverine said the realignment of its consumer-direct business is intended to optimize the fleet of retail locations, right-size the supporting infrastructure, address a fundamental shift in consumer shopping behavior and allow for greater focus on important omni-channel initiatives. The plan is expected to result in a pre-tax charge of $30 million to $37 million – including $13 million to $15 million in non-cash charges – that the company will record between now and the end of the 2015 fiscal year.
"The Strategic Realignment Plan announced today is an important step in the evolution of the Company's consumer-direct operations to meet the changing behavior of today's consumer," stated Blake W. Krueger, company's chairman and CEO. "We are confident that these actions will set a new foundation for our consumer-direct business, help position our company for future growth and increase shareholder value."
Wolverine also reported that its fiscal second-quarter profit rose 54%. For the quarter ended June 14, the company reported earnings of $27.5 million, up from $17.9 million a year earlier.Revenue increased 4.4% to $613.5 million.