Aetrex Expands Retail Footprint in US

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Footwear News

Aetrex Worldwide Inc., maker of comfort and wellness footwear, has grown its retail presence in the U.S. with the opening this month of two stores, in the Willowbrook Mall in Wayne, N.J., and Stoneridge Mall in Pleasanton, Calif.

Larry Schwartz, CEO of the Teaneck, N.J.-based company, said the Willowbrook location is company-owned, while the Stoneridge store is owned and operated by Takken’s Shoes, a California-based Aetrex partner. The brand’s original shop is in Englewood, N.J., and it also has five in Israel and four in Bulgaria.

All locations offer the company’s Apex line of therapeutic footwear, as well as lifestyle looks. The firm’s Lynco over-the-counter orthotics make up nearly 1/3 of its overall business, and the iStep proprietary digital foot scanning system is available in the stores.

IStep recently was upgraded with version 9.0 software that includes 25 interactive apps designed for use by retailers and consumers.

Since the introduction of iStep, Schwartz said the company’s Lynco business has grown twentyfold.

According to the executive, Lynco sales for 2013 were up by double digits over 2012, with expectations for a 10 percent to 15 percent increase in 2014.

“An aging population that wants to stay active is a positive thing [for us],” said Schwartz. “The fact that we’ve placed thousands of iSteps throughout the country [in our retail accounts] has influenced that. I can log on to my computer and see how many scans are being done every day.”