The Walking Company’s ABEO line of comfort footwear is revolutionary from a technology standpoint, combining the best in biomechanical support with classic shoe designs to create “invisible comfort.” As if that weren’t enough, however, the introduction of the ABEO brand has been a revolutionary move for The Walking Company in others ways, as well. 

As CEO Andrew Feshbach explains, ABEO has been more than a success for the company from a financial point of view – it has driven The Walking Company to make significant improvements to its supply chain and move it into the wholesale arena. Thanks to the ABEO brand, The Walking Company has a lot to be excited about in the near future. 

Read more: The Walking Company – ABEO

American clothing company The Limited is an iconic brand that goes back 50 years. It spearheaded mall-based specialty retailing and today operates approximately 250 stores and employs 5,000 associates.

But with customers increasingly going online to buy, The Limited decided to increase the investment in its e-commerce efforts.

Jenn McClain, The Limited’s vice president of e-commerce, came on board in June 2012 from Florida-based women’s apparel retailer Chico’s FAS, where she had served as vice president of e-commerce marketing. She left Chico’s for the broader, more encompassing e-commerce role at The Limited – and she has enjoyed watching the business grow. 

Read more: The Limited

If Baltimore-based retailer Shoe City, which has been around for 65 years, were an actual person, he or she would be the coolest 65-year-old in existence – a social-media-savvy streetwear fanatic. Because even though the company gets older with each passing year, it always manages to stay right on trend with the latest footwear and apparel for men, women and kids. Now in its third-generation of family leadership and celebrating its 65-year anniversary, Shoe City President Greg Greenberg reflects on the lessons passed down by his recently retired father. 

“Ted Greenberg has been an incredible mentor for me by instilling a hard-work ethic and a passion for the business,” Greg Greenberg says. “Without his knowledge, guidance and direction, Shoe City would not be where it is today. He leaves behind a great legacy, but his vision will continue on.”

Read more: Shoe City

With a brand-new headquarters open in Southern California and international expansion proceeding at a brisk pace, these are sunny times for Rocket Dog Brands LLC.

The young women’s shoe manufacturer started in 1997 and has since become one of the leading footwear brands for the millennium consumer. While remaining true to its sunny California beach roots, Rocket Dog continues to evolve its collection and expand offerings by introducing full product lines in casual, sport, sandals, flats and boots, and works to offers fashionable trends in each season.

“Our brand philosophy has not changed,” CEO Cathy Taylor says. “We remain a strong California brand and so much comes to life when we design to our spirit and remain true to our DNA of its soul. Today we are a young global fashion brand that works to inspire our consumers to express to their own individuality while always being true to our California spirit and heritage. That’s our bond, vision and blueprint.”

Read more: Rocket Dog Brands LLC

With Remington firearms handed down from generation to generation, the company’s reputation for quality adds luster to the brand that its holding company, Remington Outdoor Co., has relied on as it has emphasized licensing over the past two years.

Looking to expand its roster of 24 licensees to no more than 30, Remington Outdoor Co. – formerly named the Freedom Group – is emphasizing reliable products and market-leading licensees to reinforce the brand’s reputation for quality and being made in America. Its licensed products are branching out far beyond the hunting market into most outdoor products. “We believe our brand has a definite opportunity to expand,” maintains Patricia Rickard, head of global licensing.

Read more: Remington Outdoor Co.

In the Huddle

Expanding business opportunities for players, licensees and retailers is what NFL Players Inc. is all about.

NFL Players Inc. (NFLPI) certainly has a lot to offer the licensing and retail communities. As the licensing and marketing arm of the NFL Players Association (NFLPA), NFLPI is a subsidiary of the union for professional football players in the National Football League (NFL). NFLPA was established in 1956 and is responsible for recognizing and representing the players’ interests, and NFLPI has been getting the players to market since 1994.

“Our goal at NFLPI is to generate revenue and contribute funds that benefit the players in the association,” explains Steve Scebelo, vice president of licensing and business development. “We also help players build business partnerships and relationships that can help them now and when their playing days are done.” 

NFLPI is now in its 20th year of operations. It represents group licensing rights for all active players. There are around 1,800 active players at any given time. All of the players are celebrities with varying degrees of fame. In recent times, NFLPI has become more aggressive about promoting players within the business-to-business community. 

“We now have the resources we need, and the timing is right,” Scebelo says. “We can take advantage of tools such as social media, where our players are heavily engaged and can communicate with fans and about products.”

Read more: NFL Players Inc.

The current organic food trend is based on authenticity – consumers want to have confidence that what they see is what they get at the grocery store, without hidden ingredients. That authenticity has been and remains the core value behind Mrs. Green’s Natural Market, a chain of organic grocery stores in the United States and Canada with than 19 locations. Mrs. Green’s is part of the Natural Markets Food Group that also operates Planet Organic Markets and Richtree Natural Market Restaurants. As Chief Marketing Officer Curt Avallone explains, the company was founded on the ideal of providing customers with foods that are 100 percent natural, and that remains its focus today.

“We like to think of ourselves as more of a good-for-you grocer,” Avallone says. 

The company opened its first store in Scarsdale, N.Y., in 1991, a store that is still open today. Over time, the company broadened its reach with locations throughout New York, Connecticut, New Jersey, Virginia and Illinois. Mrs. Green’s Natural Market also has two locations in Canada – in Calgary and Burlington, Ontario. 

Read more: Mrs. Green’s Natural Market

Not many would look at a parachute and think it was the ideal material for a handbag, but that level of creativity has enabled LeSportsac Inc. to thrive for 40 years, Vice President and Global Creative Director D’Arcy Jensen says. “This brand has such a unique and distinctive personality,” she says.

Based in New York City, the company manufactures handbags that are sold around the world. Jensen explains that the Shifter family started the company in 1974 after encountering a unique parachute material on vacation. 

“The idea was to take this innovative material and create lightweight handbags,” she says.

Today, LeSportsac is the leading American brand of casual nylon bags in markets throughout the United States, Asia and Europe.

Read more: LeSportsac Inc.

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