Stride Rite CEO Talks Strategy (SRR, JWN, DDS)

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Includes: DDS, JWN, SRR

Footwear retailer Stride Rite (ticker: SRR) recently announced plans to open 33 stores in 2006. Chairman and CEO David Chamberlain discussed these plans during management's earnings results conference call yesterday:

…. one of the things that we did over a year ago was to actually do some strategic work in looking at our business. One of the opportunities that we felt was open to us was to continue to expand our distribution in the children's area.

....we are pretty much distributed in all of the places which can handle a $40 and up shoe. However, that is a consolidating industry, with the exception of the athletic portion, which Stride Rite has not been able to get into, because it's not perceived as an authentic athletic brand, which is one of the reasons we're attracted to Saucony, because it could open a lot of new doors.

....in the areas that are open to us, we are pretty well penetrated. We are Nordstrom's largest account. We have a very significant business with Dillard's.

....one of the attractive things about Saucony was we are not in the Finish Line or Foot Locker or several thousand doors which do over 50% of the children's business. This allows us to crack those doors, which we couldn't with our existing brands. So we think that that offers an upside in the Children's business as well.

(Quotes are from the CCBN StreetEvents transcript.)