1803 Acquired by Buzzell Inc.

Comfort brand 1803 has a new owner.

The trademark has been acquired by Buzzell Inc. of Honeoye Falls, N.Y., a footwear retailer and distributor, which plans to introduce new product for fall ’10.

According to Buzzell President Korey Buzzell, all 1803 merchandise will continue to be sourced in Portugal, where the design team is based. The line, which was founded by Paul Grimble in 2000 under the Job Footwear umbrella, will remain focused on comfort-oriented women’s and men’s casual and career looks, retailing for $130 to $170. Distribution will be targeted to independent shoe stores and small comfort chains.

“I have a lot of faith in the brand,” said Buzzell, who currently carries the brand in his own retail store, Oppedisano Bootery’s, also in Honeyoe Falls, N.Y. “I have a client base for them and didn’t want to lose that.”

To facilitate wholesale buying of 1803, Buzzell will introduce a business-to-business website, where retailers can place reorders. “This is one of the biggest avenues for sales,” he said.

The 1803 brand was purchased for an undisclosed amount from its owner, which Footwear News was unable to identify at press time.

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