P.W. Minor, of Batavia, N.Y., has a new owner. The company, founded in the 1860s and now in its fourth generation, has been acquired by Batavia Shoe LLC, Batavia, N.Y.
According to Batavia Shoe CEO Pete Zeliff, he created the company along with partner and President Andrew Young, in order to purchase the assets of the comfort and orthopedic shoe company from the bank overseeing its foreclosure.
Zeliff, who said he has owned a range of businesses over the past 25 years, is a newcomer to the shoe industry. “Andrew and I are both Batavia residents,” he said, about the decision to buy the fledgling company. “[According] to the due diligence we did [prior to the purchase], we could turn it around and make a go of it as long as we were properly capitalized.”
At Hook’s Shoe Store in Buffalo, owner Art Hook, who has worked closely with the Minor family over the years, said the sale is a positive move. “I hate to see a company around that many years go out of business,” he said. Hook said he plans to continue to support the company.
Bob Schwartz, president of Eneslow, New York, a long-time customer, is also looking forward to changes at the company. According to Schwartz, improvements can changes can only be made if the new management team takes a hands-on approach to running the business.
Currently, 20 percent of the P.W. Minor’s production is done domestically in its Batavia plant, with the rest overseas. “We plan on raising the domestic-made shoes,” said Zeliff. “Over the next six months we will be getting everything turned around.” He added there are also plans to upgrade the factory.
In addition to modernizing production, Zeliff said a new designer will be coming in board to update product. A new management team is also being assembled.
During the change of ownership, product has continued to be delivered. According to Zeliff, all back orders are expected to be filled