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Closing All 16 Stores, Frye Is the Latest to Choose Clicks Over Bricks

The Frye Co. on Tuesday announced what many in fashion have realized of late: “the future is digital.”

In an email to customers, the American footwear firm said it was closing all 16 stores, per a site map, and instead “going all in” on e-commerce.

“While 2020 has already been full of ups and downs, if our 157-year legacy has taught us anything, it’s the power of resilience,” Frye wrote in an email. “After careful consideration we made the difficult decision to close all of our retail locations. We have loved being a part of your communities and remain committed to providing best-in-class service to all of our customers shopping with us online at www.thefryecompany.com.”

Frye reminded consumers that its digital store carries the “largest assortment of Frye footwear of any retailer. We invite you to continue to shop the entire collection online with free shipping and returns.”

The shoe brand, known for its durable leather boots for both men and women, is carried by a number of retail partners, including Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus and Bloomingdale’s.

John A. Frye founded the American shoe firm in 1863 in Marlboro, Mass., considered the early home of the nation’s footwear industry. The company was acquired in 1998 by footwear manufacturer Jimlar, formerly the shoe licensee for the Coach brand until the leather goods firm brought production in-house after it acquired the Stuart Weitzman brand in 2015 for $547 million. Jimlar in turn was acquired by sourcing giant Li & Fung in 2010, which subsequently spun off its brand management operation in 2014 as Global Brands Group.

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