Allen Edmonds expands growth plans


Port Washington-based Allen Edmonds Shoe Corp. is receiving a $20 million loan from Green Bay-based Associated Banc-Corp for expansion plans that include a lease of 30,000 square feet of existing warehouse space in Port Washington and plans for two additional stores in China.

“It’s actually a refinancing of an existing line but it’s also an expansion of that line,” Paul Grangaard, president and chief executive officer of Allen Edmonds, told BizTimes. “We expanded the line and it’s to finance inventories and accounts receivable as we grow our business around the country.”
Allen Edmonds has expanded its retail store base to 41 stores and recently entered new markets in Cleveland and Atlanta. In 2013, Allen Edmonds plans to open a fourth store in Manhattan, its first in Philadelphia, one each in Boca Raton, Fla., and St. Louis, Mo., and its third in Washington, D.C.
The manufacturer also needs additional space in Port Washington, which is why it plans to lease the warehouse.
Last year, the company signed a 10-year retail agreement with Shanghai-based clothing and footwear sourcing company Talent Creations and announced plans to open its first licensed international store in Shanghai. That store will host its grand opening Nov. 29.
Now, the company plans to open an additional store in Shanghai and a store in Beijing. Company executives will scout locations while in China for the grand opening.
The bank announced today that it has provided the loan to Allen Edmonds.
“We are proud to be doing business with a local company like Allen Edmonds,” said Mark Wierman, president of Associated Commercial Finance Inc., a business financing subsidiary of Associated Banc-Corp. “Allen Edmonds was looking to establish a full service relationship with a local bank and Associated is a perfect fit for the company. With Allen Edmonds celebrating their 90th anniversary this year and Associated celebrating its 150th anniversary, this relationship brings together two great long standing Wisconsin institutions.”
“We were looking for a local financial institution to do business with, and we’re quite pleased with our decision to work with Associated,” said Jay Schauer, chief financial officer of Allen Edmonds. “Having a flexible local partner like Associated enhances our financial options and promotes Wisconsin business development.”
Allen Edmonds has nearly tripled its production in the past two years, and its online sales are up 80 percent year over year, Grangaard said.
“We’re growing on all fronts. It’s all about production,” Grangaard said. “It’s the expansion of our product line.”
The company has 935 employees, about 470 of them in Port Washington. About 200 employees have been hired in Port Washington over the last 20 months.


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