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Brown Shoe plans to open 30 outlets in US & Canada

Jun '05
Footwear company Brown Shoe Company Inc announced a series of moves to further strengthen its flagship Naturalizer brand, which recently achieved the No. 2 position among women's fashion footwear brands in U.S. department stores.

Brown Shoe announces moves to further strengthen its naturalizer brand; actions expected to add $0.15 per share to earnings starting in 2006.

"The Naturalizer turnaround has been a great success story," said Ron Fromm, Chairman and CEO of Brown Shoe. "Over the last six years, we have rejuvenated the Naturalizer brand, lowering the average age of our customer by 15-20 years, and we've more than doubled Naturalizer's market share in department stores. Now, to take Naturalizer to the next level, we have added talent to our wholesale organization and are refining our store portfolio."

The Naturalizer plan includes:
• Closing approximately 80 underperforming stores - 60 in the United States and 20 in Canada. (This is in addition to the 10 stores closed during the first quarter 2005.)
• Opening 30 new outlet stores in the United States and Canada over the next two to three years.
• Consolidating into its St. Louis headquarters all buying, merchandise planning, and allocation functions for its U.S. and Canadian stores; and consolidating within its Madison, Wis., offices all retail accounting and IS support.
• Strengthening and streamlining its Naturalizer Wholesale operations, adding talent in the sales, marketing and product development areas. The Company has recruited new leadership in each of these functions over the past three months.

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