Red Wing Shoes to open 125 stores in next 5 years

  • Article by: JACKIE CROSBY , Star Tribune
  • Updated: January 7, 2011 - 12:06 PM

Red Wing made its reputation with iconic boots.

After years of holding the line, Red Wing Shoe Co. is kicking up some dust, with plans to open 125 stores in the next five years.

The stores, all independently owned, will open mostly in the Northeast, in cities such as Philadelphia, where the Minnesota retailer doesn't have a strong presence, said spokesman Peter Engel. Stores typically are located in metropolitan areas with populations of 100,000 or more.

Red Wing stores specialize in selling the work boots that made the brand an icon. The company has about 425 U.S. stores, and about 70 percent are independently owned and operated.

The push into new markets represents about a 20 percent jump in new store growth, the company said.

"We've recognized the stores are an integral part of our brand and our customer likes shopping there," Engel said. "These are guys who like to pull up in their truck and dirty work clothes -- and not trip over a stroller and shopping cart. They want to sit down, leave their dirty boots behind and walk out of the store with the right footwear for their job."

Jackie Crosby • 612-673-7335

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