St. Louis-based Caleres, the footwear firm that acquired Allen Edmonds for $225 million in late 2016,will close a Bloomington marketing-and-merchandising office opened by the former CEO of Wisconsin-based Edmonds.
“We made the decision to close the [suburban] Minneapolis office of Allen Edmonds, which impacted 17 employees, Malcolm Robinson, the men’s division president of Caleres, said in a prepared statement in response to a Star Tribune inquiry. “All employees were offered the opportunity to relocate to St. Louis in their position or apply for other open ones. This relocation will happen over the next six months. We understand this is a choice not everyone can make, so for those who choose not to relocate, we will offer severance and outplacement services.
“By bringing the ‘omnichannel,’ retail, and marketing functions to St. Louis, we will achieve greater efficiency and growth by connecting the Allen Edmond’s team to similar teams in the Caleres headquarters.”
The Minneapolis regional office, including former marketers and merchandisers from the former Dayton’s Department Stores, was opened by former Allen Edmonds CEO Paul Grangaard. He retired from Edmonds in 2017. He sometimes ran Edmonds from the Twin Cities, after a post-Great Recession turnaround and the company's return to good health.
Grangaard, a veteran Twin Cities financial executive at Piper Jaffray and private-equity firm Goldner Hawn Johnson & Morrison, stepped in as CEO of the shoemaker in 2008. During the recession of 2008-09, Edmonds nearly collapsed. Goldner Hawn invested an additional $10 million as other investment partners backed out.
Grangaard, a long-time Allen Edmonds customer, listened, learned quickly, improved operations, eventually opened company-owned stores, grew the online business, introduced more accessories and apparel and revived some classic shoe styles.
Allen Edmonds, which grew profitably since 2010, saw employment nearly double to 750 by 2017. After nine years of commuting to Milwaukee, Grangaard retired last year to spend more time with family, pursue a longtime interest in music and invest in the fledgling Minnesota United FC professional soccer team. .
In 2013, Los Angeles-based private equity firm Brentwood Associates bought Allen Edmonds for an estimated $200 million. Last December, Brentwood sold Edmonds for $225 million to Caleres, which owns Famous Footwear and other shoe firms.