Bearpaw Acquires Flip Flop Shops as It Moves Toward Seasonless Business

The Flip Flop Shops chain is in new hands.

California-based footwear firm Bearpaw Holdings LLC announced today that it has acquired the specialty retail business from Cherokee Global Brands for an undisclosed amount.

Cherokee initially acquired the chain in October 2015 for $12 million in cash. In a statement, the company said it would use the proceeds from this sale to Bearpaw to reduce its long-term debt.

“We’re pleased with the transaction, which aligns with our strategy to focus on scaling our high-growth brands through global licensed partnerships,” said Cherokee CEO Henry Stupp. “We’re confident that Bearpaw Holdings is positioned to realize the full potential of Flip Flop Shops.”

For Bearpaw, this marks the company’s first move into multibrand retail. According to executives, the acquisition is aimed at helping to round out the seasonality of its business, as the footwear company is best known for its collection of sheepskin boots and shoes, which tend to be top performers during the winter months.

“The alliance between Flip Flop Shops and Bearpaw will create the perfect balance of seasonal products and styles for consumers to enjoy year-round,” CEO and founder Tom Romeo said in a statement.

The Flip Flip Shops chain stocks a range of warm-weather footwear from popular brands including Rainbow, Havaianas, Reef and Cobian. Like many mall-based retailers, it has faced a challenging selling market in recent years. At the time of its acquisition in 2015, the retailer counted 90 locations around the globe.

According to Bearpaw, that number now stands at 59 retail locations globally, though plans are underway to add more by the end of the year.

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