October 12, 2013

Cole Haan moving from Maine to N.H.

The Scarborough headquarters will consolidate with the customer service and distribution center in Greenland, N.H.

By Jessica Hall jhall@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

Cole Haan, a Maine-based maker of leather shoes and accessories, said Friday that it will move its headquarters from Scarborough to Greenland, N.H., to combine operations with its customer service and distribution center.

click image to enlarge

Cole Haan is moving its headquarters from 6 Ashley Drive in the Roundwood Business Park in Scarborough to Greenland, N.H. About 110 people work at the Maine site.

2012 Press Herald file photo/John Patriquin

The company said the consolidation in New Hampshire will help it cut costs, but it did not disclose how much it will save. It also would not disclose the timing of the move or the number of people who will be affected.

About 110 people now work at the headquarters in Scarborough, said Karen Martin, executive director of the Scarborough Economic Development Corp. The organization said it has contacted Cole Haan to offer help to affected employees, but has not heard back from the company.

Officials in Greenland did not return calls seeking comment about the move.

Cole Haan, which has 108 U.S. stores, was sold to a private equity firm, Apax Partners, in February for $570 million. Nike Inc. sold the Cole Haan brand as part of an effort to cut costs and focus on its namesake business.

Cole Haan traces its roots to Chicago in 1928, when it was founded by Trafton Cole and Eddie Haan to “make good goods and nothing but good goods.”

The company was sold to George Denney of Freeport in 1975. Denney sold it to Nike in 1988 for $80 million.

The number of Cole Haan employees in Maine has dwindled over the past 20 years. The company had 785 employees in the state in 1994. It later transferred its customer service department to Greenland, and closed its shoemaking plant in Livermore Falls in 1999.

Cole Haan moved its headquarters to Scarborough in 2011 after about 35 years in Yarmouth. It has outlet locations in Freeport and Kittery.

The company now leases about 38,000 square feet of office space at 6 Ashley Drive in Scarborough, in the Roundwood Business Park.

It had about $535 million in annual sales for the 12 months ending May 31, 2012.

Jessica Hall can be contacted at 791-6316 or at: jhall@pressherald.com

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