Weyco Acquires Umi Brand

The children’s brand will continue to be run by Mark Kohlenberg.

Umi has a new home.

The Grafton, Wis.-based children’s brand, founded in 2004 by former Elefanten USA president Mark Kohlenberg, has been acquired by Weyco Group Inc., which markets footwear under the Florsheim, Nunn Bush and Stacy Adams brands, among others. Weyco will also acquire Umi’s U.K. operations.

Kohlenberg will join Milwaukee, Wis.-based Weyco, where he will continue to helm the Umi brand. Umi’s existing design and development teams will also remain under the transition. A new Umi sales team is expected to be announced shortly by Weyco. All fall ’10 orders will be processed and shipped from Weyco’s Glendale, Wis., warehouse.

“This is a great moment for the Umi brand,” said Kohlenberg in a statement. “Weyco’s scale, reputation and international presence provide significant upside for future growth of Umi. From Weyco’s fully automated distribution center to logistics to customer service to product development, Umi will have a world-class organization behind it providing support.”

Tom Florsheim, chairman and CEO of Weyco Group, said Umi represents a strong addition to the company’s portfolio. “[We] believe Mark’s stewardship, supported by Weyco’s infrastructure, should provide significant opportunities to grow the Umi brand,” he said.
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