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Wolverine Worldwide Advances Strategic Transformation With New Licensing Agreements

Announces licensing partnerships for Merrell and Saucony kids footwear and Merrell apparel and accessories

Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) today announced that it has entered into two global licensing agreements as part of its ongoing strategic transformation into a brand-led growth company.

Under the first agreement, Vida Shoes International will become the global Merrell and Saucony licensee for kids footwear with rights to these products in almost all markets subject to existing licenses. Vida is one of the Company’s key partners, having licensed the Stride Rite brand from Wolverine Worldwide since 2017, and currently sources more than 20 million pair of kids footwear annually in several categories.

The Company also agreed to license the global rights for Merrell apparel and accessories – including packs, bags, and hats – to Centric Brands LLC in almost all markets subject to existing licenses. Centric has deep licensing experience and currently serves as the apparel and accessories partner for more than 100 global consumer brands.

The new partnerships will be managed by Bornie Del Priore, Wolverine Worldwide’s President of Global Licensing. Ms. Del Priore has decades of licensing experience, including with the Company’s Hush Puppies and Stride Rite brands and in her prior leadership roles at Tommy Hilfiger and Ralph Lauren.

“Merrell and Saucony kids’ footwear are beloved by active families around the world and have helped to create life-long Merrell and Saucony customers,” said Chris Hufnagel, President and Chief Executive Officer of Wolverine Worldwide. “By leveraging Vida’s deep experience with children’s products and our Stride Rite brand, we are confident we will build on these brands’ success. We are also excited about the potential to establish Merrell as a head-to-toe global lifestyle brand in partnership with Centric, which has a proven record of accelerating the growth of its licensed brands.”

Mr. Hufnagel continued, “Global licensing partnerships like these drive significant value for the Company, reducing risk and cost while enabling us to realize the full value of our brands. We will continue to take actions to transform Wolverine Worldwide as we deliver on our vision to become builders of great global brands.”


Founded in 1883, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW) is one of the world’s leading designers, marketers, and licensors of branded casual footwear and apparel, performance outdoor and athletic footwear and apparel, kids’ footwear, industrial work boots and apparel, and uniform footwear. The Company’s portfolio includes Merrell®, Saucony®, Sweaty Betty®, Hush Puppies®, Wolverine®, Chaco®, Bates®, HYTEST®, and Stride Rite®. Wolverine Worldwide is also the global footwear licensee of the popular brands Cat® and Harley-Davidson®. Based in Rockford, Michigan, for more than 130 years, the Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in approximately 170 countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our website,


Since 1973, Vida Shoes International has been committed to becoming a global leader in the footwear industry. With more than 20 exciting brands across adult and children's markets, Vida Shoes is dedicated to designing, producing and marketing quality branded footwear using its expansive international resources. Its wealth of knowledge stems from the diversity of brands and successful products that have been produced year after year.


Centric Brands LLC is a global leading lifestyle brand collective that has unparalleled expertise in product design, development and sourcing, retail and digital commerce, marketing, and brand building. Centric designs, sources, markets, and sells high-quality products in the kids, men’s and women’s apparel, accessories, beauty, and entertainment categories. The Company’s portfolio includes licenses for more than 100 iconic brands, including Calvin Klein®, Tommy Hilfiger®, Nautica®, Spyder®, and Under Armour® in the kid’s category; Joe’s Jeans®, Buffalo®, Hervé Léger®, and IZOD® in the men’s and women’s apparel category; Coach®, Kate Spade®, Michael Kors®, All Saints®, Frye®, Timberland®, Hunter®, and Jessica Simpson® in the accessories category; and in the entertainment category, Disney®, Marvel®, Nickelodeon®, and Warner Brothers® among many others. The Company also owns and operates Zac Posen®, Hudson®, Robert Graham®, Avirex®, Fiorelli®, and Taste Beauty® and operates a joint venture brand, Favorite Daughter, with Sara and Erin Foster. The Company’s products are sold through leading mass-market retailers, specialty and department stores, and online. The Company is headquartered in New York City, with U.S. offices in Los Angeles and Greensboro, and international offices in Asia, Europe, Montreal, and Toronto. Centric Brands social impact efforts are centered around our commitment to serve and uplift the communities where we live and do business. Through our collective volunteerism and contributions, we are dedicated to making a caring and lasting impact on the world around us.

For more information about Centric Brands, please visit


This press release contains forward-looking statements, including statements regarding the Company’s ongoing strategic transformation, the potential to establish Merrell as a head-to-toe global lifestyle brand, and the benefits of the Company’s licensing arrangements, including to drive value, reduce risk, and enable the Company to realize the full value of its brands. In addition, words such as “estimates,” “anticipates,” “believes,” “forecasts,” “step,” “plans,” “predicts,” “focused,” “projects,” “outlook,” “is likely,” “expects,” “intends,” “should,” “will,” “confident,” variations of such words, and similar expressions are intended to identify forward-looking statements. These statements are not guarantees of future performance and involve certain risks, uncertainties, and assumptions (“Risk Factors”) that are difficult to predict with regard to timing, extent, likelihood, and degree of occurrence. Risk Factors include, among others: the risk that the Company will be able to successfully implement its growth and profit improvement strategies; changes in general economic conditions, employment rates, business conditions, interest rates, tax policies, inflationary pressures and other factors affecting consumer spending in the markets and regions in which the Company’s products are sold; the inability for any reason to effectively compete in global footwear, apparel and consumer-direct markets; the inability to maintain positive brand images and anticipate, understand and respond to changing footwear and apparel trends and consumer preferences; the inability to effectively manage inventory levels; increases or changes in duties, tariffs, quotas or applicable assessments in countries of import and export; foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations; currency restrictions; supply chain or other capacity constraints, production disruptions, quality issues, price increases or other risks associated with foreign sourcing; the cost and availability of raw materials, inventories, services and labor for contract manufacturers; the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and other health crises and containment efforts on the Company’s business, operations, financial results and liquidity, including the duration and magnitude of such effects; labor disruptions; changes in relationships with, including the loss of, significant wholesale customers; risks related to the significant investment in, and performance of, the Company’s consumer-direct operations; risks related to expansion into new markets and complementary product categories; the impact of seasonality and unpredictable weather conditions; effects of changes in general economic conditions and/or the credit markets on the Company’s manufacturers, distributors, suppliers and retailers; changes in the Company’s effective tax rates; failure of licensees or distributors to meet planned annual sales goals or to make timely payments to the Company; the risks of doing business in developing countries, and politically or economically volatile areas; the ability to secure and protect owned intellectual property or use licensed intellectual property; the impact of regulation, regulatory and legal proceedings and legal compliance risks, including compliance with federal, state and local laws and regulations relating to the protection of the environment, environmental remediation and other related costs, and litigation or other legal proceedings relating to the protection of the environment or environmental effects on human health; the potential breach of the Company’s databases or other systems, or those of its vendors, which contain certain personal information, payment card data or proprietary information, due to cyberattack or other similar events; problems affecting the Company’s supply chain or distribution system, including service interruptions at shipping and receiving ports; strategic actions, including new initiatives and ventures, acquisitions and dispositions, including the sale of the Sperry brand, and the Company’s success in integrating acquired businesses, and implementing new initiatives and ventures; risks related to stockholder activism, the risk of impairment to goodwill and other intangibles; changes in future pension funding requirements and pension expenses; and additional factors discussed in the Company’s reports filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and exhibits thereto. The foregoing Risk Factors, as well as other existing Risk Factors and new Risk Factors that emerge from time to time, may cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in any forward-looking statements. Given these or other risks and uncertainties, investors should not place undue reliance on forward-looking statements as a prediction of actual results. Furthermore, the Company undertakes no obligation to update, amend, or clarify forward-looking statements.


Dave Latchana, (616) 863-4226

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