United Legwear & Apparel Co. LLC has acquired The Wheat Group Inc., a San Diego-based accessories company that specializes in sports and fashion. Terms were not disclosed.
Since 2011, Wheat has been a licensee and joint venture partner of Puma North America. It also holds licenses for Skechers and Minecraft and produces its own brand of bags and accessories under the Focused Space name. Wheat produces bags; backpacks; hats and caps; soccer shin guards, socks and cleats; inflatable sports balls; small electronic goods such as earbuds, headphones and Bluetooth speakers, and personal fitness equipment.
United Legwear said the design, product development, sourcing and marketing for Wheat will remain in San Diego. Sales functions will be split between showrooms in New York and San Diego, but the financial operations will be absorbed by United Legwear in New York.
Isaac E. Ash, founder, president and chief executive officer of United Legwear & Apparel Co., said he has “been impressed with The Wheat Group’s exceptional creative talent and design innovations; they develop cutting-edge products. In addition, accessories are an important part of the brands that ULAC manages; we will leverage this synergy and offer retailers a broad assortment of products that work together. ULAC will enable retailers to efficiently procure lifestyle brand stories from a single resource. Initial response has been tremendous, and we look forward to a successful future.”
Chad Grismer, cofounder of The Wheat Group, pointed to ULAC’s “fierce allegiance to quality, innovation and value. We’ve been paralleling each other’s efforts for quite some time [so] the decision to combine was obvious, and together — as a full service accessory company — will prove to be faster, stronger, and more valuable to our retail partners, licensors, and consumers.”
United Legwear produces legwear, apparel and accessories, has a joint venture with Puma North America and holds licenses for Skechers, Happy Socks and Jonathan Adler.
The companies will show Puma accessories and Focused Space at Liberty Fairs in Las Vegas next week.