Start-rite, the kids’ footwear brand, has added 20% to its turnover with the acquisition of kids’ footwear mini-chain One Small Step One Giant Leap.
The deal has given Start-rite, which has 450 UK wholesale accounts, a retail presence for the first time.
Start-rite parent company James Southall & Company acquired One Small Step One Giant Leap’s eight stores and six concessions - including one in Harrods, which opened in 2007 - last month.
Start-rite managing director Peter Lamble said: “We still want to stock all of the existing core brands in the stores, like Crocs, Geox and Lelli Kelly and in the short-term we have no plans to alter the business. However, I’m not ruling out expansion and the setting up of a transactional website in the future.”
Founder Nick Schwefel will remain as retail director.
Start-rite is also poised to move into the Chinese market, having signed a licence agreement with manufacturer New Allied Holdings, which is based in Hong Kong.
Lamble said New Allied Holdings planned to open 100 Start-rite stores in China over the next five years as well as launching a transactional website. Three stores will open in Shanghai in the autumn. The brand will also be wholesaled in China.
“[China] will probably account for between 5% and 10% of our turnover,” added Lamble.