Inside the Industry

Foot Locker’s acquisition of footwear and accessories retailer WSS recently closed following a $750 million sale that was announced in August. WSS will retain its name and operate as a new brand under Foot Locker, with Foot Locker maintaining the WSS team and contributing to developing its success. “WSS is a highly complementary addition to our portfolio, and we are excited to officially welcome its team to the Foot Locker family. WSS brings an expanded and differentiated customer base rooted in the rapidly growing Hispanic community, diversifies and enhances our product mix, and strengthens our footprint with a 100 percent off-mall store fleet located in key markets,” said Richard A. Johnson, chairman and chief executive officer of Foot Locker. Foot Locker also announced Anthony Aversa to the position of chief operating officer of WSS. Aversa was previously the vice president of customer experience at Foot Locker North America.

Browzwear announced Derek Rathel is joining the company as vice president of North America. Rathel’s hire is intended to expedite the company’s aggressive goals for platform development and market expansion. Rathel, who was previously a business-development executive at Foundry, brings nearly 20 years of experience building and leading teams across sales, marketing and customer success. While at Foundry, Rathel expanded into Europe’s luxury-goods market, building a new revenue stream from the ground up. Following the closing of a $35 million funding round from Radian Capital in August, Browzwear intends to achieve a 150 percent growth rate over the next two years.

Outerknown launched its reselling platform Outerworn in a step toward becoming fully circular by 2030. Outerworn will help keep product in circulation and out of landfills by giving Outerknown customers the option to sell their used products directly on Outerknown’s website. Users can submit their own photos, descriptions and select a recommended price for their items, which will then be authenticated by Outerknown and listed on Outerworn. For any items sold, users will be reimbursed with store credit. Outerknown worked with Recurate to develop Outerworn. Recurate’s technology allows customers to resell items through its integrated peer-to-peer marketplace. “Outerknown designs with durability and a timeless aesthetic in mind. We are excited to help our garments remain in circulation while opening Outerknown up to a new demographic through products sold at an accessible entry price point,” said Mark Walker, Outerknown’s CEO.

CanopyStyle has added more than 400 brands and retailers to its fashion and forest-conservation initiative. The initiative aims to end sourcing paper, packaging and viscose textiles from forests and scale up the use of next-gen alternatives. Brands that have joined the initiative include Puma, Hugo Boss, House of Anita Dongre, and Scotch and Soda. Nearly 200 of the brands joined CanopyStyle within the past 18 months to demonstrate the severity of the climate crisis. Canopy says producers responsible for 90 percent of the global viscose supply have committed to stop sourcing from old and endangered forests in response to the initiative.