Aerosoles is exploring debt restructuring, a sale or other options as it continues a turnaround that has involved attempts to update its styles, Reuters reports. A request by Retail Dive for more details or comment wasn’t immediately returned.
The company has been trying to find a sweet spot between its reputation for comfort and its appeal as a retailer of affordable footwear for older women to include more fashion-forward options and higher prices.
Denise Incandela, who has held executive roles at Sakes Fifth Avenue and Ralph Lauren, in April replaced CEO R. Shawn Neville, who stayed on as executive chairman.
Investment firm Palladin Retail Partners in 2014 added Aerosoles to its stable of retail and apparel companies. The footwear company has had three chief executives since.
Aerosoles, with 120 retail locations, had a performance vibe early on. The idea was to be able to walk from home to the subway and work without resorting to wearing one's sneakers, but the brand's appeal has faltered of late, and the tough apparel market has taken its toll.
The company hasn't disclosed its debt load, according to Reuters. But it's hardly the only one struggling in today's retail environment. Apparel companies like The Limited, Wet Seal and Aerosoles rival Payless have turned to bankruptcy as their debt obligations collided with a sales downturn.
Footwear retailer DSW, by contrast, is among the few retailers that, along with off-price stores such as TJX companies and discount retailers like dollar stores, have been expanding their physical store footprints and edging past analyst expectations for sales and profit.
That shoe retailer has also been working diligently to blur its brick-and-mortar and e-commerce businesses — and fulfillment has been a big piece in making that puzzle fit. The retailer has said that it’s shipping about half its e-commerce sales from its stores, though more e-commerce sales have meant rising delivery costs. As a response, in recent years, the retailer switched to shipping from stores that have excess inventory.