CANTON, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The comfort footwear landscape changed forever today as Drydock Footwear Group acquired The Rockport Company to become The Rockport Group. Home to a standout portfolio of men’s and women’s brands, including Rockport, Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham, The Rockport Group maintains its local roots with headquarters in the greater Boston area.
At the helm of the newly formed company is industry veteran and CEO Bob Infantino, who returns to Rockport after more than 30 years away. With him he brings a renewed passion for introducing innovation to the category and a vision for establishing Rockport as the world’s premier comfort shoe brand.
Infantino first joined Rockport in its formative years, and, together with the company’s founders, Bruce and Saul Katz, helped shape the Rockport culture, lasting heritage and commitment to advancing comfort footwear. When the opportunity arose for Infantino to return to Rockport, the brand that set his career in motion, he jumped.
“Serendipity aside, bringing Drydock and Rockport under one roof is a natural evolution for both companies,” said Infantino. “Since the beginning, Rockport’s core business has been its men’s line, while Drydock’s strength is in its women’s brand, Cobb Hill. Together they set The Rockport Group on a very exciting path for growth.”
The Future of Innovation
According to Infantino, the bar for true comfort brands has never been higher: “People expect their footwear to be comfortable, and adding a single component or material to a shoe is no longer enough. Rockport, as it always has, must continue to engineer complete comfort systems that customers will feel in every step.”
As a powerful testament to Rockport’s commitment to innovation, an entire business division is focused on blue-sky invention and imagination. Working outside the normal seasonal cycles, the group will develop programs with the potential to significantly shake up the comfort category.
“We’ll put possibility into the hands of the right people, giving them the necessary time, investment and support to create,” said Infantino. “We won’t rush anything to market. We’ll just keep testing and working so that when we introduce new concepts, they will be true to the Rockport philosophy.”
With the pieces in place for success – tried-and true-brands, a steadfast leader, a loyal and talented team, and a strategy for ingenuity – the future is promising for The Rockport Group.
“You can’t look over your shoulder in this business,” said Infantino. “Just as it was at the start of Rockport, the only way forward is innovation.”
About The Rockport Group:
The Rockport Group designs, markets and sells comfort footwear with distribution in premier independent, online and department stores in North America and more than 63 markets worldwide. In August 2015, Drydock Footwear Group acquired The Rockport Company to form The Rockport Group, the new home to the companies’ combined portfolio of men’s and women’s brands, including Rockport, Cobb Hill, Aravon and Dunham. Headquartered in the greater Boston area, the Company merges Drydock and Rockport’s collective vision, talent and commitment to innovation, dating back to Rockport’s beginnings in 1971. For more information, visit www.rockport.com.