Focus on Outdoor, Athleisure Trends Lifts Wolverine’s Merrell, Saucony Brands

Wolverine Worldwide Faces Excess Inventory

In the face of growing economic headwinds, footwear and apparel maker Wolverine Worldwide said its continued focus on meeting strong consumer demand for outdoor and athletic shoes drove record second quarter revenue, driven my double-digit gains in Merrell and Saucony, its top two brands.

Even so, company executives reduced their outlook for the year, citing elevated customer inventory, a stronger U.S. dollar, lingering supply chain delays, inflation and changing consumer behavior, according to a Wednesday (Aug. 10) earnings release for the three months ending July 2.

“During the second quarter, we made very meaningful progress on the important strategy work we started earlier in the year and remain excited about the future growth potential of our brands,” Wolverine Worldwide President and CEO Brendan Hoffman said in the release. “While we continue to expect sequential growth acceleration in the second half, we now have a revised outlook for the back half of this year that assumes higher promotional activity and elevated inventory in our wholesale channels,” he added. 

During Q2, the company’s largest brand, Merrell, saw 14% growth, and Wolverine Worldwide’s international business leapt 45%, the release stated.

Reporting the revenues of its other brands, the company said in the release Wolverine was up 16% and Saucony was up 7%, while Sperry was down 13%. Sweaty Betty, which the company acquired in August 2021, is expected to fuel Wolverine Worldwide’s growth.

To cope with the excess inventory, which was up 93% compared to the previous year, Wolverine said in the release it expects that 85% will be sold through primary channels later this year or during 2023, and the remainder will be liquidated over several months.

The company’s previously announced strategy work paid off in Q2, Hoffman said in the release.

As PYMNTS reported at the time of Wolverine Worldwide’s Q1 earnings call, those efforts include capitalizing on a favorable industry backdrop in the outdoor, performance and work categories that the company serves, focusing on execution and driving excitement among consumers with product launches and marketing initiatives paid off in Q2.

Read more: Wolverine Worldwide Benefits From Increased Demand for New Footwear


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