This 150-Year-Old U.S. Shoe Manufacturer Has Closed Its Doors

After a string of failed attempts to save legendary U.S. shoe manufacturer P.W. Minor, the more than 150-year-old company has closed its doors.

On Oct. 5, P.W. Minor in Batavia, N.Y., ceased operations and laid off 81 employees, according to a filing with the New York State Department of Labor.

P.W. Minor had experienced a range of financial difficulties over the recent past. In a move this year to save the company, known for its offering of therapeutic and comfort shoes, it received an investment by Tidewater + Associates. P.W. Minor’s then-CEO, Peter Zeliff, transitioned to board member, while Hundley Elliotte, a member of Tidewater’s leadership team, stepped in as managing CEO.

In 2015, the company reportedly received $1.75 million in state tax credits in exchange for bringing 100 jobs back to the plant that had been outsourced to China. Those breaks followed nearly $500,000 awarded by the state in 2014 when P.W. Minor was acquired by Batavia Shoe LLC, which purchased the assets from the bank overseeing its foreclosure.

According to Bob Schwartz, president of New York-based comfort shoe store Eneslow, a letter was sent to the retailer last week announcing P.W. Minor’s plans.

Despite the fact the company was facing challenges, it was working with men’s shoe brand Bostonian to produce a new premium men’s collection for the brand, which delivered this fall. At press time, Bostonian parent Clarks Americas declined comment.

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