BIG RAPIDS, MICH. - Wolverine Worldwide announced the sale of its Big Rapids factory on Sept. 29.
This location is one of the largest producers of footwear to the United States Military. The company sold its assets related to the United States Department of Defense contract to Original Footwear.
Original Footwear is a Tennessee-based manufacturer that is classified as a small business under Small Business Administration regulations, which gives the company access to contracts that are not available to large companies like Wolverine Worldwide.
Original Footwear will become a footwear supplier to Wolverine Worldwide for certain products. Wolverine Worldwide will retain the Bates brand.
"The sale to Original Footwear will provide the opportunity for the Big Rapids factory to compete for Department of Defense contracts set aside for small businesses," said, Blake Krueger, Wolverine's chairman, chief executive officer and president.
Wolverine Worldwide is currently under scrutiny for contaminating drinking water near their old tannery dump site, which was used in the 1970s.
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