Windsor Shocked & Disappointed by Asics’ Termination of Retail Deal

In a statement provided to Footwear News this afternoon, Windsor Financial Group LLC has fired back at Asics America Corp. regarding its decision last week to terminate a retail operating agreement with Windsor.

“It is unfortunate that Asics America and Asics Japan have so abruptly undermined Windsor’s efforts to continue Asics’ retail development,” Armando Ruiz, CEO and president of Windsor, said in the statement.

Windsor said it is “disappointed,” “shocked” and also “perplexed by Asics’ recent self-serving actions, including Asics’ breach of the parties’ agreements, its bad faith and ongoing misrepresentations.”

In a June 25 release, Asics had cited material breaches on the part of Windsor as the primary reason behind its decision to terminate the pair’s retail operating agreement. Asics said it expected Windsor to close the 13 Asics retail stores it operates in the U.S. in response to the termination.

Certain Windsor retail stores remain open, Windsor confirmed in its statement, including the Asics flagship in Times Square.

Windsor said it was responsible for significantly expanding Asics’ brand and presence in the U.S. by opening the 13 retail stores in the country’s “most exclusive and visible markets,” including New York, Chicago, Boston and Southern California.

“Windsor opened Asics’ North American flagship store in Times Square, which broke $1 million in sales in just over its first 30 days of operating, receiving praise from Katsumi Kato, director and senior GM of the global sales division of Asics’ Japanese parent, Asics Corp.,” Windsor said in its release.

The firm also said it had been commended — as recently as March 2015 — by Asics America CEO Kevin Wulff, who partly attributed a 15 percent year-on-year sales gain in the region for FY2014 to the opening of Asics’ retail stores by Windsor.

“Privately, Windsor had been working closely with Asics to address the challenges necessarily involved in the continued and rapid roll-out of retail stores,” Ruiz said. “We were, of course, dismayed that Asics so quickly turned its back on what we believed was a meaningful partnership.”

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