In an era where the term handmade has become more of a rarity, Red Wing Shoe Company is holding onto tradition by continuing to make its Red Wing-brand work shoes by hand, as it has since 1905. Its US and foreign factories make casual and outdoor shoes, as well as work and steel-toed boots. Its portfolio of brands includes such names as Red Wing, Vasque, Irish Setter, WORX, and Carhartt Footwear. Red Wing Shoe distributes its footwear through some 4,000 retail outlets in the US, as well as growing number of independently-owned Red Wing Shoe Stores in the US. Although it distributes worldwide, the US accounts for the bulk of its sales. The Sweasy family controls the company.
The company operates plants in Minnesota, Missouri, and Kentucky. Its footwear is sold in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, Europe, the Middle East, North America, and South and Latin America.
In addition to its manufacturing, distribution, and retail operations, Red Wing also owns a tanning plant, the S.B. Foot Tannery, and the St. James Hotel in Red Wing, Minnesota.
The shoemaker has been building its branded retail network of late. Indeed, the company has announced plans to open an additional 125 independently-owned Red Wind Shoe Stores by 2016. The branded stores are slated to open in "key growth markets," generally metropolitan areas with populations of more than 100,000 people. Currently, there are more than 425 Red Wind Shoes Stores across the US, of which nearly 70% are independently owned.
Strategically, Red Wing Shoe in 2010 opened a North American operations headquarters in Houston to more easily serve its customers there with oil and gas personal protection equipment. The Houston location represents Red Wing Shoe's third global operations hub. – less