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.
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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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