Genesco Makes Jump Across Atlantic with Acquisition

Nashville-based Genesco has made a leap across the Atlantic Ocean with the acquisition of a shoe retailer in the U.K. Genesco announced Thursday morning it will pay a total of nearly $200 million for a much smaller company based in Scotland called “Schuh.” [like ‘shoe’]

Genesco president and CEO Bob Dennis says the purchase could open up the continent to further expansion.

“We think this establishes a presence across the pond from which we could some day contemplate further opportunities in Europe.”

Genesco already operates in Canada and Puerto Rico. It has 2,300 stores, including Johnston & Murphy and the hat retailer Lids. The nearly 60 “Schuh” stores are most similar to Genesco’s Journeys division.

Footwear has become more global and Dennis says the acquisition will help the company both import and export new styles.

“We will now have earlier intelligence as these trends develop and more visibility into newly emerging vendors, which will help in our merchandise planning and inventory buys.”

Genesco officials say they want to double the number of “Schuh” outlets in the U.K., and they plan to keep that brand name. The company’s top management is also staying on through the purchase.

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