June 23, 2011, 1:01 PM

Genesco acquires U.K. apparel retailer Schuh Group

Genesco gains stores and an e-commerce site aimed at youthful shoppers.

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Genesco Inc. continues to buy up specialty apparel retailers, specifically those selling casual and athletic clothing.

This time the acquisition is Schuh Group Ltd., No. 160 in the Internet Retailer Top 300 Europe, and a multichannel retailer of casual and athletic footwear based in the United Kingdom.

Genesco, which also owns and operates Hat World Inc., No. 382 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide, will pay about 100 million pounds ($159.8 million) to acquire Schuh. Genesco also will pay an additional premium of 25 million pounds ($39.9 million) before 2015 if Schuh meets certain unspecified performance objectives.

Genesco funded the deal for Schuh in part with cash on hand and its U.S. credit facility of $89 million. Genesco acquired Schuh, which operates 59 stores in the United Kingdom and the Republic of Ireland and sells online at Schuh.co.uk, to grow its international retailing base, says CEO Robert Dennis. "Schuh provides us with an immediate and established retail presence in the United Kingdom, a highly experienced international management team and improved insight into global fashion trends,” says Dennis. “Financially, the Schuh business is compelling with attractive store economics and solid growth prospects."

Schuh managing director Colin Temple and finance director Mark Crutchley will continue to oversee all current operations including stores, purchasing, information technology, human resources, e-commerce, merchandising and logistics, says Dennis.

Schuh’s, which generated annual sales of about 164 million pounds ($262.0 million) in 2010, also will help Genesco reach younger U.K. customers, particularly apparel shoppers ages 15 to 24. “We specialize in providing our customers with branded casual and athletic footwear styles that are in line with current fashion trends and with a breadth and depth of assortment that is difficult to find elsewhere,” says Temple.

Genesco, which also operates such brands as Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Shi by Journeys, Lids and Lids Locker Room, Johnston & Murphy and Underground Station, has made a number of acquisitions in recent years. In May, Hat World and Genesco acquired Buckeye Corner, a sporting apparel retailer, which operates BuckeyCorner.com, four retail locations in the Columbus, OH, area, and a catalog business.

 

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