NORFOLK, Va. -- Officials for Hofheimer's Inc., a 97-year-old, family-run shoe-store chain, confirmed Monday that they have sold the concern to a British shoe company but will continue to operate the stores.
Lewis D. Hirchler, Hofheimer's president and a grandson of one of the founders, said Ward White Investments, Ltd., a subsidiary of Ward White Group of Northamptonshire, England, purchased the Norfolk-based chain.
Hirchler would not disclose the purchase price, but last week, Ward White said it bought Hofheimer's for $23.5 million.
Hofheimer's, started in 1885 by three brothers, now has stores in Virginia and North Carolina. Last year's profits were $4.1 million, and sales totaled $35.9 million.
Ward White Investments, with profits of $5.9 million and and sales of $176.1 million, operates stores in England, Ireland, Sweden, West Germany and Australia.
It recently acquired the 20-store Charles Kushins Inc. chain of California and the 49-store Childs Corp. of Pittsburgh.
Hirschler said present company personnelwill continue to run the chain.
Hofheimer's ranks among the top 12 shoe retailers in sales volume, according to Footwear News, a trade publication.