Reports are surfacing from Bloomberg and TheDomains that Brown Shoe Co. (BWS), owner of the Famous Footwear retail chain, sold its Shoes.com online division to closely held Seattle company Shoeme. Shoeme is the parent company of OnlineShoes.com
Online shoe sales in the U.S. will reach $10 billion this year, according to research firm IbisWorld. Market leaders include Amazon, which purchased the shoe site Zappos.com in 2009 for $1.19 billion, and Foot Locker. The market is fragmented, with the top companies controlling less than 25 percent of the market, according to IbisWorld. That means there is room for new companies to compete.
Brown Shoe Co., based in St. Louis, has been closing stores in recent years to boost profits. The company has more than 1,200 stores and generated sales of $2.51 billion in its latest fiscal year, mostly in the U.S.