American Exchange Group (AXNY Group) continues its streak of acquisitions.
The New York-based footwear and accessories company, which last year bought Aerosoles and recently purchased the White Mountain shoe brand, announced today that it has closed on another deal, to acquire Giant Propeller, a creative services and digital marketing company based in Miami.
The agency, which was founded in 2015 by Mike Bodkin, offers a range of marketing services, including digital content creation, video storytelling, web development and commercial production. It has created campaigns for a number of major brands — including L’Agence, Warner Bros. Studios, Sprayground and Timex — and will continue to serve its existing client base while also partnering with AXNY Group to support brand-building efforts for its portfolio.
“This further demonstrates our commitment to investing in marketing to continue to drive growth for our retail partners, and help them with their top line and bottom line sales,” Alen Mamrout, CEO of American Exchange Group, told FN. “This is the perfect acquisition for us because now we have full visibility and insight to certain data that we currently don’t have. And from now, our storytelling, content creation assets, collateral, everything will be controlled in-house through this marketing agency.”
Mamrout noted that AXNY Group is poised to make a significant investment in marketing for Aerosoles, White Mountain and Cliffs by White Mountain.
“We want to acquire a new customer, and we want to reach a younger audience,” he said. “The product fits well within that target demographic, but there are a lot of consumers we’re not currently selling or marketing to.”
Mamrout added that White Mountain, in particular, will be a major focus this year in terms of building awareness. “It’s a hidden gem because they have tremendous distribution, but they chose not to invest in marketing,” he said. “So we’re working on providing our retailers with more digital assets and collateral. I think that’s where our biggest growth [will come from].”
AXNY Group is a designer, manufacturer and wholesale provider of fashion accessories for men, women and kids, producing everything from footwear, belts, socks and hats to smart watches and fitness trackers. Before acquiring Aerosoles in January 2022, it primarily worked on licensed and private label collections.
But Mamrout said the leadership team saw an opportunity to deploy its many capabilities in a more coordinated way. “We realized that a lot of times we’re signing for a license and it’s available in footwear but not in handbags, or it’s available in handbags and watches but nothing else. Owning the brands now enables us to diversify and leverage our relationships with the retailer in all the various categories,” he said.
In the case of Aerosoles, for example, AXNY has already launched the brand into several new categories. In January, the brand made a foray into the kids’ market with a line of girls shoes, and for spring ’23, the label introduced men’s and women’s flip-flops, men’s socks, slippers and roller skates. It also signed a licensing deal last month with United Intimate Group for women’s sleepwear, robes and intimate apparel, set to hit stores for the holidays.
In terms of future acquisitions, Mamrout said he’s reviewing opportunities but being selective in his targets. “Anything that we acquire must fit within our vision, our strategy. And I want to make sure that it fits our distribution and also gains us additional market share,” he said.