Steven Madden just got bigger.
The footwear- and accessories-maker completed the purchase of the digital native Greats brand on Monday.
The terms of the deal are unknown, but Steve Madden revealed that the Brooklyn, N.Y.-based sneaker company, also known as “Greats,” had about $13 million of sales for the 12 months ended June 30.
“Rarely in my 30 years since I started Steve Madden have I come across an opportunity as exciting as this,” said Steve Madden, founder, creative director and design chief of Steve Madden. “Ryan’s [Babenzein, founder and ceo of Greats] shoes are the talk among all the Millennial men I encounter. He reminds me so much of myself. We can’t wait to explode this thing.”
Greats was born online in 2014 and quickly became a hit among hipsters and office workers alike with its sleek minimal, one-colored sneakers for both men and women — and average price tags of about $179. The company later moved off-line, opening its flagship location in Manhattan’s SoHo neighborhood.
The acquisition comes at a time when more and more legacy companies are acquiring digital start-ups, allowing each one to play off the other’s strength to grow. Lingerie upstart Lively was recently acquired by Wacoal International Corp. for $85 million. Vera Bradley bought Pura Vida for $75 million earlier this summer.
These deals allow the legacy company to tap into the startups digital prowess, while the start-up can access the larger company’s infrastructure and brand name.
“We see significant opportunity to expand the business by combining the Greats’ strengths — which include an outstanding brand and stylish, classic designs that appeal to today’s more casual consumer — with our proven business model, established infrastructure and global reach,” said Edward Rosenfeld, chairman and ceo of Steve Madden.
The Greats’ Babenzein added that the acquisition was “something that made a ton of sense to me.”
“My goal has been the same since I started Greats, and that is to create one of the leading footwear brands in the world,” he said. “This partnership is another chapter in the Greats book to help accomplish that and I couldn’t be happier.”
Still, the news didn’t have any immediate impact on Steve Madden’s stock, which was down about 2.5 percent Monday morning. Company shares are down more than 22 percent year-to-date.