Brown Shoe Co. Chairman, President and CEO Diane Sullivan was joined by Fergie to ring the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday to commemorate the company’s 100 years as a public company.
Employees of the St. Louis-based firm watched as their leader rang the bell ahead of an anniversary celebration at 4 World Trade Center this evening. It is the first major event to take place at the site.
“One hundred years on the New York Stock Exchange is a humbling milestone, but now, more than ever before, Brown Shoe is right where it should be,” Sullivan said in a statement.
“Our past proves we have what it takes to succeed over the long term. Today, our company is full of a lot of good people who work hard and do it with great character. I have no doubt that with their focus on our amazing brands and shoes, we have what it takes to be even more successful in the future,” she added.
In 2013, Brown’s stock price jumped more than 50 percent and earnings per share rose almost 25 percent. Both its retail and wholesale businesses showed improvement last year, with Famous Footwear reporting a same-store sales increase of 2.9 percent and its wholesale operations posting a 5.3 percent gain.
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“Together we are transforming Brown Shoe from a company that many have never heard of to one they won’t forget,” Sullivan said.
Brown, which was founded by George Warren Brown in 1878, is the 24th company to reach the century mark on the NYSE.
Shares of the firm closed 36 cents lower at $24.62 on Wednesday.