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In the News: Hunter, FDRA, Sorel, VF, Oboz, Vimazi, Bala


Authentic Brands Group has acquired the intellectual property of global brand Hunter, the outdoor lifestyle brand known for its iconic Original Wellington boot. Under ABG’s ownership, Marc Fisher Footwear will take over Hunter’s footwear design, wholesale and e-commerce operations in the U.S. and U.K.’s The Batra Group is Hunter’s new core licensee for the United Kingdom and continental Europe. ABG is expected to name additional Hunter brand partners for other regions shortly.

The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA) appointed its new leadership team for the term running June 2023 to June 2025. Jennifer Bendell, VP of government and public affairs for Nike, is the new Chairman of The Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America (FDRA). She has worked in advocacy and public policy for several decades. Joining Bendell in FDRA’s executive suite are Josue Solano, president and CEO of BBC Intl. as Vice Chairman, and Dan Friedman, the chief sourcing officer for Caleres, as treasurer.

Columbia Sportswear has started a search for a new president of its Sorel brand business. Late last week, the company announced that Mark Nenow, who has been president of Sorel since 2015 and with Columbia for 16 years, was resigning from the senior executive position to focus on his health.

VF Corp. has opened a new 1.2-million-sq.-ft. distribution center in Ontario, CA. The company says the facility, the largest and most efficient in its 46-door DC network, has twice the processing capacity and efficiency of its traditional distribution centers. The DC, which has an annual shipping capacity of 76 million units, will initially service Vans and The North Face shipments and provide next day e-commerce fulfillment for consumers in CA, NV, AZ and southern UT.

Oboz Footwear has named Vermont-based Stoner//Andrews and Oregon-based Evergreen Outdoor Group as new sales representation for the brand in New England and the Northwest, respectively.

Vimazi, the Portland, OR-based brand that makes pace-tuned running shoes, has hired industry veteran Scott McCoubrey as National Sales Manager. McCoubrey has almost 40 years of experience across the industry, most recently in the retail space with The Elephants Perch in Ketchum, Idaho and prior to that owning Seattle Running Company for 12 years. His sales background includes time at Montrail and Scott Sports where he first worked with Vimazi founder and CEO Scott Tucker. Vimazi also announced the addition of Henry Guzman and Adam Pinkston to its sales team.

Bala footwear, a nursing footwear company founded in 2020, has been acquired by Careismatic Brands, a medical apparel, footwear and accessories firm based in Chatsworth, CA. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Bala joins Careismatic’s existing portfolio of brands that includes Cherokee Uniforms, Dickies Medical and Medelita.