Lotto Sport Italia has sold Etonic, the American producer of running, golf and bowling shoes that it bought in 2006. The buyer is the Anthony L&S Footwear Group (AL&S), a U.S. company that markets casual and lifestyle footwear under various brands including Bob Marley, Cadillac, Fubu, Levi's Mountain Gear, Farm and U.S. Polo Association. Two years ago, AL&S entered the sports segment by striking a global shoe licensing agreement for Adio, the skateboard brand of Jarden Corporation.
Andrea Tomat, the chief executive of Lotto, says his company wanted to concentrate energy and resources on the Lotto brand, which is performing relatively well in the U.S. in running, tennis and lifestyle shoes. Negotiations are under way with various partners to distribute or license various segments of the Lotto collection in the U.S.
One of the goals behind Etonic's takeover had been to achieve greater economies of scale for the distribution of Lotto in the U.S., while developing the presence of the Etonic brand in specialty shops. Sales of Etonic have declined to around $10 million a year, down from $18 million when Lotto took it over. Sales of Lotto products in the U.S. are now in a range of $6 million to $7 million.
AL&S will probably want to reposition Etonic as a brand of lifestyle vintage casual footwear because of its long heritage, after trying to compete against major players in the running and golf markets. Declining to comment on the terms of the sale, Tomat said he was leaving the brand in good shape, with a nice collection and no inventories, after a major cleanup of the line and its distribution.