Independent Stores Unite: Comfort One Shoes Acquires Saxon Shoes

Two Mid-Atlantic retail legends are joining forces.

Comfort Ones Shoes, the independent footwear chain based in Alexandria, Va., has announced it is acquiring Saxon Shoes for an undisclosed amount.

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Saxon Shoes, located in Richmond, Va., this year celebrated its 70th anniversary. The retailer was founded in 1953 by Jack and Gloria Weiner and has remained family owned up to this point, led by president and CEO Gary Weiner. Though the company was hard hit by the coronavirus and forced to declare bankruptcy in 2020, it successfully navigated through the crisis and remained operational.

In a Facebook post, Garrett Breton, president of Comfort One Shoes, wrote, “Saxon Shoes has been a beacon of quality and service. It’s a legacy we deeply respect and are honored to continue.”

He went on to note that the deal comprises the store in Short Pump Town Center, its brand and inventory, and that the retailer will continue to operate under the Saxon Shoes name and maintain its selection of diverse brand offerings.

Additionally, Gary’s daughter, Amanda Weiner, shared on social media that she will be joining the Comfort One organization to serve as director of Saxon Shoes, while her parents “get to enjoy a much-deserved retirement.”

According to Breton, this deal is a continuation of Comfort One’s expansion strategy, which focuses on purchasing other independent shoe stores to “protect and enhance their legacies.” The retailer currently operates 11 Comfort One locations, as well as two Birkenstock dealerships.

Within the independent retail space, there has been a flurry of deal-making in recent years, while the industry undergoes a generational shift. As many storeowners near retirement, they don’t have family members willing to take over the business, leaving them with the option to liquidate and close their stores, or to sell.

And a number of successful chains have been only too willing to buy and add to their store rosters, including Beck’s Shoes, Stan’s Fit for Your Feet, Shoe Fly Shoe Inc. and now Comfort One.

In his post online, Breton explained that what made Saxon Shoes so special is its long history and community impact. To its customers and partners, he said, “We look forward to serving you with the same dedication and passion that has defined Saxon Shoes for decades.”

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