The Walking Co. Emerges From Bankruptcy With $10M in New Equity

Comfort shoe retailer The Walking Co. Holdings Inc. has emerged from Chapter 11 after filing for bankruptcy protection in March.

According to a company statement, a new $10 million-plus of equity, along with support from an enhanced financing package from Wells Fargo Bank, will provide The Walking Co. sufficient capital to achieve its long-term growth objectives.

“We are very pleased to have finalized this process,” said Andrew Feshbach, CEO. “The reorganization has positioned our company for long-term success. We are excited to now focus on all of our growth initiatives for The Walking Co. and Abeo footwear brand.”

Feshbach had attributed the decision to file Chapter 11 to the company’s struggle to develop its brand between 2013 and 2017 amid a consumer shift to online purchases.

In addition to operating 185 stores nationwide in premium malls across the country, The Walking Co. also operates a website. In 2016, the company made the bold move to acquire Atlanta-based FootSmart, a division of Benchmark Brands Inc., a direct-to-consumer retailer of foot and lower-body health products sold through an e-commerce site and mail order catalog.

The recent Chapter 11 filing was not the first for the company. In 2009, it filed for voluntary Chapter 11 protection, citing, in part, a lagging economy as well as its rapid store expansion. The firm joins other shoe players that have filed for bankruptcy in recent years — among them Payless ShoeSource, which filed in April 2017 and emerged in August that same year. In April, Nine West Holdings Inc. submitted its voluntary Chapter 11 petition, later selling off shoe brands Bandolino and Nine West while maintaining its apparel, jewelry and jeanswear businesses.

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