Wolverine Worldwide is Honored by Footwear Industry With Plus Awards for Design Excellence Company and its Merrell, Wolverine Brands Receive an Unprecedented Four Awards

NEW YORK, Feb. 8, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- At a recent footwear industry event hosted by the Fashion Footwear Association of New York and Footwear Plus, the footwear trade publication, Wolverine Worldwide (NYSE: WWW)  and its brands were honored with four industry awards based on votes received from a broad range of U.S. retailers.

The Plus Awards were started 13 years ago by Footwear Plus magazine, and include awards for Excellence in Design, across a variety of categories.  The Plus Awards are unique because they are voted on by thousands of retailers nationwide and are not chosen by the publication itself. An extensive array of retail formats – from department stores and outdoor specialty to independent retailers and others – has a hand in determining the annual winners.  This year, Wolverine Worldwide walked away with top accolades in four distinct categories, a first for the Plus Awards.

The Company's category wins included:

  • Wolverine Worldwide, Company of the Year Award – With its 12-brand portfolio, Wolverine continues to deliver a wide spectrum of products that the Company produces for its retail partners, both here in the United States and in the more than 190 countries where the Company markets its brands.  With more than 52 million pairs of footwear or units of apparel sold in 2011, brands such as Merrell, Hush Puppies, Sebago, Wolverine, Caterpillar Footwear and Cushe are making brand and style statements on the feet of men, women and children.
  • Merrell, Plus Award for Design Excellence in Outdoor – Merrell has been a familiar presence in this category many times before, having won in this category nine other times.  In addition, Merrell was previously honored as the overall Brand of the Year for the entire footwear industry.
  • The Company's Wolverine brand was a two-time winner in 2011, receiving the Plus Award for Design Excellence in both the Work and Men's Street categories.  The Wolverine brand has been honored in the Work category an unprecedented 12 times in the past 13 years.  This honor is particularly meaningful as the brand heads into 2012, which marks 20 years since the introduction of the brand's patented DuraShocks technology.  Wolverine ushered in the use of comfort technology back in 1992, and the brand has grown steadily to its current rank as the #1 work/utility brand in the U.S. market.    
  • The Wolverine brand also won a Plus Award in the Men's Street category for its 1000 Mile Collection.  The Wolverine 1000 Mile Collection is a unique, heritage-inspired and authentic men's boot offering that evokes the brand's humble beginnings and features product directly inspired by original Wolverine work boot designs from the early 1900's.  Coming out of the recession, the global consumer has shown a strong affinity for brands that have a distinct heritage and are rooted in authentic design and construction.

According to Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, "We are very proud to receive Footwear Plus' Company of the Year and three Design Excellence awards, as they reflect our efforts and focus over the last several years to work closely with our retail partners and bring them innovative product that performs in their stores.  Our brands are uniquely positioned in the global marketplace and are reaching consumers across multiple geographies, product categories and distribution channels.  Being recognized by our retail partners and the industry for such a strong performance, with an unprecedented four Plus Awards, is a true honor."

Greg Dutter, Editorial Director of Footwear Plus magazine remarked, "Congratulations to Wolverine Worldwide for its unprecedented receipt of four Plus Awards in one year—three for design excellence in the Work, Men's Street and Outdoor categories, and the prestigious Company of the Year honor.  The Company delivered a combination of innovative technologies, most notably in its Merrell Barefoot collection, and edgy design, as evidenced in its Wolverine 1000 Mile Collection.  Overall, Wolverine Worldwide solidified its position as a leader in the industry and a multi-brand resource for retailers."

With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. is one of the world's leading marketers of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport and uniform footwear and apparel.  The Company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Bates®, Chaco®, Cushe®, Hush Puppies®, HYTEST®, Merrell®, Sebago® Soft Style® and Wolverine®.  The Company also is the footwear licensee of popular brands including CAT®, Harley-Davidson® and Patagonia®. The Company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in more than 190 countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our website, www.wolverineworldwide.com.

SOURCE Wolverine Worldwide



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