Footwear marketer and designer Weyco Group, Inc. has acquired Forsake, an outdoor footwear distributor and brand based in Boston.
Forsake specializes in footwear in the sneakerboot category, a hybrid footwear style with the supportive sole of a sneaker but with the high sides of a boot. Its products are sold in outdoor specialty stores as well as on e-commerce websites throughout North America.
Glendale-based Weyco Group purchased Forsake in a $2.5 million deal that includes additional payments contingent on the company’s performance over a five-year period, according to a press release. Weyco Group estimates these contingent payments could be valued at $1.75 million.
The acquisition allows Weyco Group to round out its portfolio with an additional brand in outdoor footwear, a segment of the market that has grown during the COVID-19 pandemic, said Thomas Florsheim, Weyco Group chairman and CEO.
“Outdoor footwear is one of the healthiest parts of the shoe industry,” Florsheim said. “People’s lifestyles today, people are dressing more casual. They want versatile and waterproof footwear, a casual shoe or boot that can also be used for hiking.”
The sneakerboot distributor also joined Weyco Group’s other outdoor footwear brand BOGS to create a new outdoor division, which is now based in Portland, Oregon. Forsake’s co-founders, Jake Anderson and Sam Barstow, joined the Weyco team and will lead the Forsake business following the acquisition.
Besides BOGS, Rafters and Forsake, Weyco Group’s products consist of footwear for dressier occasions, including its Florsheim, Nunn Bush and Stacy Adams brands.
“The acquisition of Forsake is a great strategic fit for Weyco as we continue to build our presence in the outdoor footwear market around the globe,” Florsheim said in a statement.
Weyco Group, a publicly traded company, reported net sales of $46.9 million for the first quarter ending in March 31 compared to $63.6 million in the first quarter of 2020. Both the company's wholesale and retail segments also declined for the first quarter compared to last year, which the company attributes to the pandemic.
“As expected, sales of our legacy brands remained depressed in the first quarter as a result of the ongoing pandemic,” Florsheim said in a statement. “However, we are seeing signs of improvement, as orders accelerated within our wholesale business late in the quarter. At retail our performance was strong due to the growth in e-commerce, and we are also seeing a resurgence in sales overseas, particularly at Florsheim Australia."