Today, ShoeBuy.com — a global online retailer featuring shoes and clothing from a variety of brands — announced that it has acquired a minority stake in Boston Boot Company, a decidedly small “shoery” that crafts high-quality men’s boots in limited batches. BBC founders Joe Lyons and Joe Prew launched their business with the help of a creative Kickstarter campaign in 2013 and shipped their first pair of boots in spring 2014. Now, with the help of a partner like ShoeBuy.com — which boasts millions of shoppers — BBC will have wider distribution and access to a broader customer base .
The news comes just days after other footwear moves, with Adidas Group announcing the sale of Rockport (another Boston-based company) to Berkshire and New Balance Holdings. FN reported that Adidas announced as early as last May that it was considering offers for Rockport. According to a report in WWD, the mostly cash deal is estimated at $280 million.
Meanwhile, Gap Inc. announced Monday that it plans to shutter its e-commerce site Piperlime and its one Piperlime store, in New York’s Soho neighborhood. As reported by FN, the company aims to focus on its five remaining brands — Gap, Old Navy, Banana Republic, Athleta and Intermix.
For ShoeBuy, the minority acquisition in Boston Boot Company marks the online retailer’s expansion into footwear manufacturing, and the opportunity to work with a brand that is closely connected with its customer.
“With both companies rooted in Boston and strongly committed to delivering a great customer experience, the fit was natural,” said ShoeBuy CEO Mike Sorabella. “Boston Boot Company, with its commitment to and passion for quality, brings a new business, new expertise and new opportunities to ShoeBuy.”
“We are thrilled with the opportunity to benefit from ShoeBuy’s e-commerce expertise and broad reach to ensure maximum exposure for our brand,” said Lyons. “This partnership allows us to focus on making great boots, one pair at a time.”