Major brands within WWW’s portfolio each achieved 25 percent or more ecommerce growth in Q2 despite an essentially flat overall topline of $568.6 million that missed corporate’s longer-term sales growth objective and the period’s target by more than $6.6 million.
Looking ahead, however, H2 revenue is forecast to accelerate to mid-single digit growth with the company’s three largest brands—Merrell, Sperry and Saucony—projected to have a combined six-month sales increase of nearly 10 percent. Besides ecommerce, Wolverine attributes the positive outlook to the impact of new stores, stronger international growth for Merrell and Saucony, and its “digital-direct offense.” Sperry, Merrell and Keds will deliver “strong boot offerings” in Q4 when constant currency revenue is forecast to jump 7 percent.
As for Q2 ended June 29, Merrell brand sales rose mid-single digits on strength from its performance categories and strong consumer acceptance of its new collection that was spearheaded by the Nova, Tora and Fiery. Merrell’s ecomerce business climbed 27 percent. At Keds, ecommerce sales rose 28 percent and the brand’s core Champion styles and product collaborations drove overall mid-teens growth in the U.S. Meanwhile, the Saucony brand “exceeded expectations” but was down mid-single digits due to challenges in the technical run category in the U.S. and EMEA. But Saucony, projected to rebound in H2, did achieve 27 percent ecommerce growth.
Meanwhile, Wolverine’s work category, which represented 15 percent of the company’s H1 global revenues, generated double-digit growth in Q2 and, according to President and CEO Blake Krueger, “continues to be a significant growth opportunity for the company.”
Speaking to Wolverine’s outlook, Krueger added, “Our second half backlog is probably the strongest it’s been in five years or more years at the present time. So fundamentally, we have a lot of confidence in our backlog and what it’s going to deliver in the second half.”