|Traded as||NYSE: BWS|
|Number of locations||1,369 (January 2011)|
|Key people||Ron Fromm (Chairman)|
|Revenue||$2.24 billion (2009)|
The company was created in St. Louis and was originally named Bryan, Brown & Company after its founders George Warren Brown and Alvin Bryan. The name was changed to Brown Shoe Company in 1893. The George Warren Brown School of Social Work at Washington University in St. Louis was endowed in 1925 by G.W. Brown's widow.
Brown Shoe Company, Inc. is a $2.3 billion footwear company with worldwide operations. The company operates the 1,100-store Famous Footwear chain. It also operates 300 specialty retail stores in the United States, Canada and China under the Brown Shoe Closet, FX LaSalle and Naturalizer names, as well as Shoes.com, the Company's e-commerce subsidiary. Brown Shoe's wholesale divisions own and market leading footwear brands including Naturalizer, LifeStride, Via Spiga, Sam Edelman, Nickels Soft, Connie and Buster Brown; it also markets licensed brands including Franco Sarto, Etienne Aigner, Dr. Scholl's, Carlos by Carlos Santana and Fergie Footwear branded footwear for adults, and Barbie, Nickelodeon character footwear for children.
Since 1904, its mascots have been cartoon characters Buster Brown and his dog Tige. They both appear on the company's television commercials. In the 1940s and 50s the company made a brief foray into the comic book publishing industry, producing Buster Brown Comics, which featured the character on the cover, but contained different adventure features, such as Robin Hood. For a brief time in the 1980s and 1990s, the characters were updated to look more contemporary.
Richard Barker played Buster Brown in the Brown Shoe Company advertising campaign as a small child. There is a book written about Richard Barker and his life as Buster Brown in the advertising campaign. The book about Richard Barker is titled “Buster Brown and the Cowboy”.
- Brown Shoe 2010 Annual Report - Financials (10-K)
- "Brown Shoe Company", data from Hoover's
- "Clayton city, Missouri." U.S. Census Bureau. Retrieved on June 13, 2009.
- "We're Brown Shoe." Brown Shoe Company. Retrieved on January 23, 2010.
- "Brown Shoe Acquires American Sporting Goods Corporation", press release, Brown Shoe Company, ST. LOUIS and ALISO VIEJO, CA, February 17, 2011
- "Textiles, Apparel and Luxury Goods: American Sporting Goods Corporation", Bloomberg Businessweek
- Brown Shoe Company official website, www.brownshoe.com/
- "Brown Shoe Company, Inc.," Funding Universe, www.fundinguniverse.com/ —Extensive and detailed company history.
- Database and Cover Gallery of comic books published by the Brown Shoe Company, www.comics.org/