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Rockport Expands Into Germany

The Rockport Co. is partnering with German footwear retailer Goertz for the spring debut of Rockport shop-in-shops.

The initiative will kick off with four shops in Hamburg, one in Hanover, and a selection of styles sold through the retailer’s Website, Goertz.de. Eight additional shop-in-shops and two Rockport concept stores will follow in the fall. The two companies will jointly operate the new business.

The move represents Rockport’s return to the German market after a six-year hiatus. According to CEO Michael Rupp, the Canton, Mass.-based company began expanding its presence outside the U.S. in 1997 and continues to invest in building an international presence. “Europe is a large and important market for us,” he said in a statement. “By entering Germany, we’ll gain new widespread brand exposure in Europe’s largest economy working through a respected partner in Goertz.”

Goertz currently oversees more than 220 freestanding stores in Germany.

To maintain Rockport’s identity, both the shop-in-shops and concept stores will reflect the brand’s new global design concept, launched in 2009.

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