Running Insight

MARCH 15, 2018

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V F Corporation, the parent company of The North Face, Smartwool, Timberland and Vans, has reached an agreement to buy Altra, the upstart footwear brand that has cracked the competitive running business with its Zero Drop shoe designs. Altra has been owned by ICON Health & Fitness since 2011. Terms of the agreement were not disclosed. VF has been said to be on the hunt for a running shoe brand for years. The publicly traded conglomerate was in the hunt for Saucony in 2012 before losing out to a bid by Wolverine Worldwide. And VF's name is mentioned as a possible acquirer whenever a running brand is rumored to be for sale. In Altra, VF has acquired a brand that has cap- tured the imagination of the run market since it was launched in 2011 by Brian Beckstead, Jeremy Howlett and Golden Harper. Golden is the son of Hawk and Cheryl Harper, owners of Runner's Corner, a run specialty store in Orem, UT. The concept behind the first Altra shoe was devel- oped in 2009 when the trio shaved down the heels of existing running shoes to create a "zero drop" from heel to toe. Harper chose the name "Altra" based on the Latin word "altera", which means "to fix or mend something that is broken The Altra brand was picked up by early adapter stores such as Playmakers in Michigan and the brand's founders sold to ICON in 2011 so they would have the resources of a big company to keep up with the growing demand. Today, Altra is sold in 55 countries through more than 1,600 specialty retail locations and generated $50 million in revenue for the trailing 12 months. "The acquisition of the Altra brand is another example of our efforts to reshape and evolve our port- folio of powerful brands to align with our enterprise value creation model," said Steve Rendle, chairman, president and CEO of VF Corporation. "The active outdoor and performance sector is a large and attrac- tive growth space. The addition of the Altra brand brings to VF a unique and differentiated technical footwear brand and a capability that when applied across VF's outdoor footwear, direct-to-consumer and international platforms will serve as a catalyst for growth." ICON executives say the sale of Altra will allow them to focus on its core fitness brands of NordicTrack ProForm, its Freemotion commercial business, and iFit, its connected fitness subscription brand. n VF to Buy Altra Brand RUNNING INSIGHT 2 © 2018 Formula4media LLC. RUNNING INSIGHT ® is a registered trademark of Formula4Media, LLC. © 2018 all rights reserved. Running Insight is published twice each month, is edited for owners and top executives at running specialty stores and available only via email.The opinions by authors and contributors to Running Insight are not necessarily those of the editors or publishers. Articles appearing in Running Insight may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express permission of the publisher. Formula4Media, LLC, P.O. Box 23-1318, Great Neck, NY 11023. Tel: 516-305-4709. Jeff Nott Jeff Gruenhut .................. Christina Henderson .... Katie O'Donohue Sam Selvaggio.............. Daemon Filson Editor-in-Chief ........ Mark Sullivan: Managing Editor ............ Cara Griffin: Publisher .....................Troy Leonard: SUBSCRIBE BACK ISSUES Advertise

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