In The News: Zappos, Grassroots Connect, Skechers and More

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Amazon-owned Zappos sees the retirement of CEO Tony Hsieh after two decades. He sold the Las Vegas company, which began as Shoesite.com in 1999, in 2009. COO Kedar Deshpande becomes CEO on Aug. 31.

Specialty organization Grassroots Outdoor Alliance has partnered with digital commerce specialist NuOrder to offer NuOrder’s online buying platform to member retailers. The platform will be offered to vendors for free this fall. “The goal here is to directly improve the bottom-line financial health of retailers by improving their ability to visualize, budget, plan and buy from multiple brands at the same time,” Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, said in a statement. “The traditional assortment selection and merchandise buying process will be vastly improved on this platform.” The platform will enable buyers to sort and visualize their assortments, see line sheets and catalogs and collaborate with brands.

Inspired by the viral TikTok song “Skechers” by DripReport, Manhattan Beach, CA-based Skechers is donating 1 million non-medical surgical masks to nonprofits across the U.S. that don’t typically receive PPE. Distributions are planned in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York City, Detroit, Florida and New Jersey to homeless shelters, food banks, community and public education centers, and health and rehab facilities.

Boston-based New Balance’s Tokyo Design Studio is teaming up with Japanese outdoor brand Snow Peak on a new style, the Niobium. The shoe combines the outsole from New Balance’s  MT801 trail runner with an eVent waterproof bootie that can be swapped for a sandal lining to create a piece of footwear that can be used as a slipper, a sandal or a waterproof boot.

Wolverine World Wide-owned Hush Puppies is introducing the Bennett, a new men’s style that utilizes the brand’s Bounce technology footbed for energy rebound and all-day cushioning and a five-pod outsole for stability. The style’s leather upper was designed with a PerfectFit stretch, and is available in three styles and retails for $140.