Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Stechschulte Responds to Media Inquiries on Famous Footwear Closing (City of Sun Prairie Office of Econoimc Development)

City Economic Development Director Neil Stechschulte issued the following statement in response to several media inquiries regarding the announcement from Brown Shoe Company that they will be closing the Sun Prairie Famous Footwear Distribution Center by April 2012:

"The City of Sun Prairie has been formally notified Brown Shoe’s intention to close their Sun Prairie Distribution Center by April 2012, affecting 144 positions.

Despite the reduced corporate presence in the Madison area the past couple years, Famous Footwear operations team here in Sun Prairie had indicated to the City that there were no known plans to relocate or close the Sun Prairie distribution center at that time.  As recently as two months ago, the City visited with the Operations Manager at the facility, and all indicators  seemed to point towards a continuing presence here including a growing role for their operation.  The announcement appears to have been a surprise to employees as well as the City as a whole.

We have requested additional information from officials at Brown Shoe as to why they have chosen to close this facility and whether or not there is anything that can be done to persuade them to continue and grow their operations here.  However, this decision is most likely final and we must be ready to move decisively to find a new user for that space in the event they truly have decided to cease operations here.

The City of Sun Prairie is grateful to Brown Shoe and Famous Footwear for their past investment in our community.  Our focus is now ensuring that displaced employees have all the necessary tools at their disposal, and we  are beginning work immediately to find a new business for that space."

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