Thursday, December 22, 2011

Allen Edmonds is well on the way to becoming a global brand. We’ve had significant sales in Europe for a generation, and our recent agreement with a Chinese partner to open Allen Edmonds stores in China – bringing our “Made in USA” products there in a reversal of decades-long trends – has the potential to double our sales and our international awareness over the next several years. Still, we’re a relatively small private company. The trappings of global “brandhood” remain out of our reach: like having a major sports stadium carry our name, for example. So, when my hockey-crazed and great-guy brother-in-law jokingly asked if AE wanted to “sponsor” his backyard ice rink, where he’s immersing his 5-year old son in the rich traditions of Minnesota hockey, I jumped at the chance.

Tongue firmly planted in cheek, attached are cellphone pictures of “Allen Edmonds Arena”, our first major sports sponsorship. The NHL will take note, I’m sure. (We’ll have their people call our people.) It took two dairy-truckloads of water to fill in the homemade boards, cover the encroaching tree roots and create the 25’X40’ sheet of ice. Allen Edmonds Arena is a serious sports venue, let me tell you. Several of our AE employees have offered to drive the Zamboni, should my brother-in-law ever get one. And, as you might suspect, my nephew leads the league in scoring (‘cause my soft-hearted sister is a sieve in goal for her son; in co-ed broomball she’s a veritable Patrick Roy).

The Christmas garland surrounding the Allen Edmonds banner and the wreath next to it offer a fitting “Winter Wonderland” scene for this chance to wish all of our loyal Allen Edmonds supporters and customers -- especially the half a handful of you who read this blog -- a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holiday Festivities of all kinds, and much good health and happiness in 2012!!

Peace to you and yours,

Paul D. Grangaard
President & CEO
Allen Edmonds Shoe Corporation