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Footwear Start-rite snaps up kids’ footwear indie

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.

Readers' comments (2)

  • Point of information.Startrite used to operate several retail shops
    of their own,some of which were sold to a company called
    Instep and the remainder closed.

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  • We have gone back to Start-rite and it has confirmed that it did have some Start-rite branded retail outlets between 2002 and 2004 and some were sold to Instep and others closed. The reason given for this was because of a change in strategy for the business at the time.

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