ROCKFORD, Mich., April 15, 2020 — Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE:WWW) and its diverse portfolio of lifestyle brands are rallying together amid the COVID-19 pandemic to take quick action in support of healthcare workers, law enforcement, and other first responders across the country, as well as footwear industry employees and their communities.
“The safety and well-being of our employees, consumers and communities continues to be our top priority as we navigate the global ramifications of the COVID-19 crisis,” said Blake Krueger, Wolverine Worldwide’s Chairman, Chief Executive Officer and President. “That’s why we are happy to contribute our talent and resources in service of frontline workers who are risking their own health and safety to help those in need, and to others feeling the heavy impacts of this pandemic.”
WOLVERINE WORLDWIDE DONATES PROTECTIVE MASKS AND RETROFITS RECHACO FACTORY TO PRODUCE ADDITIONAL MASKS
In part of its COVID-19 response efforts, Wolverine Worldwide has donated more than 35,000 protective masks to Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids, Michigan, for use by its healthcare workers on the frontlines. In addition, the Company has retrofitted its ReChaco factory in Rockford, Michigan, to produce additional face masks and other critical protective equipment that is being donated to healthcare workers and first responders. An initial delivery of more than 1,000 masks was delivered to Spectrum Health the week of April 6.
Operated by the Company’s Chaco brand, the ReChaco factory is equipped with industrial sewing machines, ample backstock of materials, and a production team with decades of professional sewing expertise. The brand plans to share their patterns, sourcing leads and learnings with other companies and individuals looking to contribute during the pandemic.
“We at Chaco are doers. It’s not in our team’s DNA to stand by when we have the opportunity and resources to take action,” said Lisa Kondrat, Director of Operations for the ReChaco factory. “We want our skills and machinery to be useful in this crisis.”
The brand has also converted its ReChaco Mobile Repair Factory bus, currently based in the Pacific Northwest, to produce masks to support local efforts in Portland and Hood River, Oregon. Additionally, Chaco is asking its followers on social media to write letters of encouragement that the Chaco team is sending to healthcare workers alongside the protective masks. To learn more about Chaco's efforts, visit: www.chacos.com/US/en/crisis-response/, and high-resolution pictures of ReChaco protective mask operations are available at: https://chaco.box.com/s/83gzteam2xwitnj5a3r8aqlouyf6fkcb
MERRELL DONATES FOOTWEAR TO HOSPITALS, FIRST RESPONDERS
Merrell, the largest brand in Wolverine Worldwide’s portfolio, recently donated 1,200 pairs of shoes and boots to hospitals in Grand Rapids, including Spectrum Health and Mercy Health, as well as to the Grand Rapids Police and Fire Departments.
This footwear came from Merrell’s work and tactical lines, specifically designed for first responders in these critical roles. Additionally, the brand donated 250 neck gaiters to Mercy Health, which are being used as backup protective equipment for healthcare staff.
“Merrell could not be prouder to call West Michigan home and we want to support those on the frontlines working tirelessly to protect the health and safety of everyone in our community and beyond,” said Chris Hufnagel, President of Merrell. “We hope a new pair of shoes can be a bright spot for these brave people during these unprecedented times. Merrell thanks them for their work and service to our community.”
HUSH PUPPIES, SPERRY, KEDS, BATES AND HYTEST DONATE SHOES TO SUPPORT IMPACTED FOOTWEAR INDUSTRY EMPLOYEES
In response to the rapidly increasing need for emergency financial aid for thousands of footwear industry families affected by the coronavirus pandemic, several of Wolverine Worldwide’s brands have partnered with the Two Ten Footwear Foundation to establish the “COVID-19 Share Your Shoes Campaign.” This initiative was led by Hush Puppies and quickly joined by Sperry, Keds, HYTEST, and Bates Footwear. Collectively, these brands have donated more than 13,000 pairs of shoes, which will be converted into cash and distributed to footwear industry families in need.
Two Ten provides emergency financial assistance and access to counseling services and community resources to footwear employees facing difficult times. Applications for financial help at Two Ten have spiked more than 200% in the past two weeks and, based on the current rate, the Foundation is anticipating approximately 10 times the average number of applications will be filed between April-June.
To learn more about the COVID-19 Share Your Shoes Campaign, visit https://twoten.org/get-help/covid-19-assistance/.
SUPPORTING GLOBAL COMMUNITY VIA SOCIAL MEDIA
Many of Wolverine Worldwide’s brands have also leveraged their social media channels to further support those in need and on the frontlines.
Merrell’s Get and Give Campaign: Consumers will receive a $25 e-gift card for orders over $100 on Merrell.com with the intent that the gift card will be sent to someone working on the front lines or someone in need.
Merrell Supports Retail Partners Through Instagram Giveaway: Merrell wants to help spread joy safely and respectfully outside and on the trail during this time of social distancing. Through April 17, Merrell is giving away 30 gift cards worth $200 each supporting the brand’s local outdoor retailer partners (retailers will be chosen dependent on location of winners). To participate, Merrell’s Instagram followers are being encouraged to tag @merrell in a post showing how they are spreading good vibes and Merrell Magic on the trail responsibly.
Keds’ “To the Women on the Ground” Campaign: Keds is showing support via Instagram by inviting its consumers to nominate a woman who is on the ground, working or volunteering on the frontlines of the COVID-19 crisis. The company will donate a free pair of shoes to each woman selected via Instagram through Keds.com while supplies last.
#SperrySelfCare: In response to COVID-19, Sperry launched #SperrySelfCare – a new social media platform created to lift the spirits of Wolverine Worldwide employees and our consumers by regularly providing self-care and stress relief inspiration.
#Wolverine4Workers: Wolverine Boots & Apparel is asking its social media followers to nominate themselves or a trade worker they know who is still working during the COVID-19 crisis. Nominations will be accepted via @wolverineboots on Instagram or via https://www.wolverine.com/US/en/wolverine4workers/. Nominations must include a picture of the nominee as well as a brief description. The campaign runs throughout the month of April 2020.
Hush Puppies’ #PracticeOptimism: Hush Puppies is all about living life on the bright side and that's why the brand is expanding on its successful #PracticeOptimism social media campaign. The initiative, which began in January 2020, encourages the brand's consumers to intentionally incorporate optimism into everyday life through various activities and suggestions offered by the Hush Puppies team, primarily via Instagram (@hushpuppiesshoes).
ABOUT WOLVERINE WORLDWIDE
With a commitment to service and product excellence, Wolverine World Wide, Inc. (NYSE: WWW) is one of the world's leading marketers and licensors of branded casual, active lifestyle, work, outdoor sport, athletic, children's and uniform footwear and apparel. The company's portfolio of highly recognized brands includes: Merrell®, Sperry®, Hush Puppies®, Saucony®, Wolverine®, Keds®, Stride Rite®, Chaco®, Bates®, and HYTEST®. The company also is the global footwear licensee of the popular brands Cat® and Harley-Davidson®. The company's products are carried by leading retailers in the U.S. and globally in approximately 170 countries and territories. For additional information, please visit our website, www.wolverineworldwide.com.