Roger Hardy, CEO of Canada-based Shoes.com, said the purchase was a natural move for the footwear dot-com, which sells a selection of over 500 brands to customers in the U.S. and Canada.
“[This deal] demonstrates our commitment to expanding our offering into the accessories and apparel categories,” Hardy said in a statement. “Socks have transformed from commodity to fashion statement — this is reflected in the growth of the category and represents an exciting opportunity for us to diversify our product assortment beyond footwear.”
As of May, the U.S. legwear category had seen a 3 percent year-over-year sales increase to $7.4 billion, according to The NPD Group Inc. One of the markets generating the most growth were millennials, ages 18 to 34 — a demographic that aligns well with Richer Poorer’s youthful aesthetic.
The sock brand was founded five years ago by Iva Pawling and Tim Morse with colorfully patterned men’s styles, and has since expanded with women’s and kids’ socks, underwear and — soon — basic tees. Richer Poorer is stocked in more than 800 retailers, including Bloomingdale’s, Trunk Club and Stag.
Co-founder and CEO Pawling said of the acquisition, “We’ve been acutely focused on building a strong brand identity, authentic voice and quality product since we launched. The next growth phase for Richer Poorer requires significant resources, e-commerce expertise and ability to scale, all of which the Shoes.com team brings to the table.”
This deal marks the latest in a trend of e-commerce companies branching out with brand buys. In early 2015, Shoebuy.com purchased a minority stake in Boston Boot Company, a men’s shoe manufacturing startup.