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Shoe Carnival CEO Mark Worden

Shoe Carnival Targets Midwest Expansion

Goal of 500 stores by 2028 is closer with acquisition of Rogan’s Shoes.

Shoe Carnival CEO Mark Worden
Shoe Carnival CEO Mark Worden

Shoe Carnival’s aim to be the “nation’s leading family footwear retailer” took another step forward with the recent $45 million cash acquisition of Rogan Shoes, a 53-year-old work and family footwear chain with 28 locations in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Illinois. The acquisition is expected to generate approximately $84 million in sales and approximately $10 million in operating income, excluding transaction and integration costs, for 2024. Shoe Carnival now stands at 429 stores across 36 states and Puerto Rico. The store count is now at an all-time high for the 46-year-old Evansville, IN-based company.

Why Rogan’s, specifically? For starters, it’s an if you can’t beat ’em, acquire ’em strategy. “Shoe Carnival has been unable to establish the market-leading position in Wisconsin due to the strength of Rogan’s position and strong connection with the customer base,” says Mark Worden, president and CEO of Shoe Carnival. “With this acquisition, we shift from a small share position, with only three stores in the south of the state, to the number-one chain, with 28 total stores across the state.”

The move also extends Shoe Carnival’s footprint into Minnesota, providing a foothold to pursue future expansion in the region. “This is very similar to our acquisition of Shoe Station (2021), where they were the clear market leader in Alabama, Mississippi, and the surrounding Gulf region,” Worden says, noting that acquisition has exceeded ambitions. “The (Shoe Station) integration was completed faster than expected. Sales are growing, stores are expanding into new markets, synergies have been captured, and margins are growing.”

Rogan’s will be integrated under the Shoe Station banner over the next 18 months. Combined sales of the 60-store division are expected to surpass $200 million by fiscal 2025. “Rogan’s customer demographics, format, and broad product assortment fit well with our Shoe Station banner,” Worden says, noting that banner is the focus of the company’s organic growth. “With the addition of Rogan’s, Shoe Station strategically establishes a strong base to expand from both in the South and Midwest.” 

There’s a lot to like about Rogan’s, as well as room to improve, according to Worden. “Over the past five decades, the Rogan family built a brand that is well known and trusted in the upper Midwest by providing customers the most compelling selection of work and family footwear products in the market along with great customer service,” he says. “With the scale of our $1 billion-plus corporation, we’ll be able to leverage our back-office capabilities, buying scale, CRM leading capabilities, and grow profits.”

Pat Rogan, CEO of Rogan’s, is retiring. Jim Rogan, president, will remain with Shoe Carnival as VP. The senior Rogan is excited about the deal. “We share a strong focus on customers and employees, and this transaction provides the additional scale and expertise to drive future growth, create efficiencies, and expand profitability with that shared focus as the foundation,” he states.

The March 2024 Issue

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