News looks to expand beyond feet

November 16, 2015 03:32 PM

A Canadian footwear retailer is looking to own more real estate in its shoppers’ closets. acquired five-year-old Southern California-based accessories brand Richer Poorer for an undisclosed price.

It’s a move aimed at giving more access to its customers’ feet. Richer Poorer primarily sells fashionable socks, and carries men’s boxer briefs on its website, offering free shipping on orders of more than $40.

"Not only is this acquisition a natural extension of our business, but it demonstrates our commitment to expanding our offering into the accessories and apparel categories,” CEO Roger Hardy says. “Socks have transformed from commodity to fashion statement. This is reflected in the growth of the category and represents an exciting opportunity for us to diversify our product assortment beyond footwear." is one of a handful of footwear-focused e-retail sites Hardy and his investment firm, Hardy Capital Corp., cobbled together in the last two years following the sale of contact lens and eyewear e-retailer Coastal Contacts Inc. to Paris-based eyewear maker Essilor International in a deal valued at $385.7 million in early 2014. At the time of its acquisition Coastal was No. 127 in the Internet Retailer Top 500 Guide. Hardy co-founded Coastal and was CEO.

After the Coastal sale, Hardy Capital and a handful of other investors acquired, then No. 181 in the Top 500, and in July 2014 for an undisclosed price. The group then acquired from Brown Shoe Co. (currently No. 204 in the Top 500) in December 2014. ShoeMe is now the parent company to the collection of brands which are ranked No. 180 in the Top 500.In May, raised a $45 million in funding and reported sales had grown 89% through the first three quarter of the year compared with the year-ago period, fueling rumors of an initial public offering, which has not materialized. In late September, the footwear e-retailer rolled out same-day delivery, offering delivery in two hours or less on select styles in Toronto and Vancouver initially, with plans to expand the service to other major markets throughout Canada by the end of this year. The company says it will open its first bricks-and-mortar store, in downtown Toronto, later this month. 




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