Rocky CEO on Creative Recreation Buy

Rocky Brands Inc. and Creative Recreation may seem like strange bedfellows, but Rocky CEO and President David Sharp said the two make a perfect partnership.

Nelsonville, Ohio-based Rocky announced its acquisition of the Los Angeles-based fashion sneaker brand this week for $11 million.

According to Sharp, the new alliance will give Rocky access to the bigger casual market, compared with its current niche in outdoor, hunting and workboots through its Georgia, Durango and Rocky brands.

“Thirteen percent of the footwear market is in hunting, work and Western, compared with 57 percent in casual shoes,” said Sharp. “We would like to be in the casual business, but know little to nothing about it.”

That is where Creative Recreation comes in.

And on the flip side, added Sharp, Creative Recreation has struggled with logistics, an area where Rocky can leverage its expertise in capital, sourcing and distribution. “We do all these things exceptionally well,” he said.

Sharp noted that Rocky has no plans to make sweeping changes at Creative Recreation. Instead, the sneaker label will stay in its California headquarters and its sales, marketing and product development teams will remain in place. “They will continue with what they do well,” Sharp said.

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