DSW Parent Designer Brands Acquires Topo Athletic

Mark A. Carlson

Designer Brands Inc. (DBI), the parent company of DSW, announced that it has acquired Topo Athletic, a U.S. maker of running, walking, hiking and comfort shoes. With the acquisition, DBI expands its assortment of athletic performance footwear and progresses its owned brands strategy. The acquisition will also provide Topo with access to additional resources.

Topo’s founder and CEO, Tony Post, will remain with the company as CEO of Topo, and report to Bill Jordan, president of DBI, according to a company press release. DBI did not disclose the acquisition’s financial terms.

Total Retail’s Take: DBI is adding yet another asset to its growing roster of owned brands. Some are owned outright, while others are available through licensing agreements. DBI’s current portfolio of brands includes Reebok, Hush Puppies, Crown Vintage, JLO Jennifer Lopez, Mix No. 6, and Kelly & Katie. In July, DBI announced an investment in Le Tigre 360 Global and entered a licensing agreement to exclusively design and produce Le Tigre footwear.

“Topo represents another exciting growth opportunity for Designer Brands and further propels us to our goal of doubling sales of our owned brands by 2026,” Jordan said in a statement.

DBI isn’t the only retail organization focusing on private-label brands in the current environment. Reportedly, executives from Target, Kohl’s, and Walmart said in recent earnings calls that more consumers have turned to these value-driven brands as inflation impacts U.S. consumers.

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