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Shoe Co. plans extensive retail expansion

The Red Wing Shoe Co. plans to add 125 independently owned stores to its network over the next five years, the company announced Thursday.

There are already more than 425 Red Wing Shoe stores nationwide, around 285 of which are locally owned, the company said.

The expansion will mean a more than 20 percent increase in store growth, according to a news release, and is focused on bulking up the number of independently owned stores rather than company-run ones.

"Our Red Wing Shoe Store owners are the most important advocates and representatives of the Red Wing brand," said Dave Murphy, president of the Shoe, in a statement. "We are a global brand built on local relationships. These principles will continue to be the core of our business."

The Shoe is hoping to expand into the northeast and south and is targeting metropolitan areas with populations of about 100,000 or more for new stores, the company said.

Independently owned Red Wing Shoe stores differ from franchises in that the company does not charge owners fees or collect royalties. Store owners only foot the bill for the building where their store is located and purchasing the merchandise from the company.

Danielle Killey

Danielle Killey covers local government for the South Washington County Bulletin. She has worked as a reporter for other Forum Communications newspapers since 2011. She graduated from the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities with a journalism degree.

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