LaCrosse discontinues END Footwear brand
END (environmentally neutral design) Footwear set out in 2008 with the big lofty goal "to pioneer a new age of outdoor gear products with environmentally neutral design." The company had considerable footwear industry talent behind it and won numerous awards for its trail and road running shoes upon their debut.
In May 2009, LaCrosse Footwear acquired END, saying in a press release announcing the sale, "LaCrosse is committed to allowing END Footwear to continue its forward thinking movement in product design, sales and marketing as an independent brand."
Sounded encouraging, but apparently that commitment has come to its end, since I received the following announcement today.
END Footwear Design Innovations to be Integrated into Lacrosse and Danner Products
LaCrosse discontinues END Footwear as a standalone brand
LaCrosse Footwear, Inc. (Nasdaq/NMS: BOOT), a leading provider of branded work and outdoor footwear and apparel, announced today its strategic decision to discontinue END Footwear (Environmentally Neutral Design) as a standalone outdoor and running brand.
With this announcement, LaCrosse plans to leverage the END platform of innovative lightweight designs into the LaCrosse and Danner product lines and distribution channels for Fall 2010. The Company does not anticipate incurring material expenses associated with this action.
While this is the end for the pioneering, environmentally-minded brand, I hope it won't be the death of END's "forward thinking" vision.