Thursday, September 07, 2006

There's no business like Shoe business

Today, Stride Rite announced that it had acquired the rights to Robeez for a purchase price of CDN$30.5 million dollars. Not one to follow the news much (other than celebrity baby gossip, that is), I was amazed at how much I was affected by this news.

You won't find many people anymore who don't know that this fabulous product was dreamed up by a Canadian mom-preneur, Sandra Wilson, when she was laid off from her airline job. Her story is inspirational to anyone who dreams of making it big, and especially hits home with mothers out there who dream of finding the perfect way of achieving the elusive work-life balance. When I read about her selling it to Stride Rite, I was almost in tears. (What the--??? This wasn't a re-run of Party of Five, after all). Crazy Mums are supposed to get emotional over long-distance telephone commercials, not mergers and acquisitions. Who am I, anyways??

I love Robeez. I had already purchased several pair when The Boy was still a pea in the pod. Let's face it, they're cute! But beyond that, I wanted to support the brand because:

  1. They were invented by a Mom.
  2. They are Canadian.
  3. They are recommended by pediatricians.
  4. Their company is family-friendly.
  5. They are wicked cute!

I know that Sandra Wilson must have had her reasons for selling the company, and that the good must have outweighed the bad, or she wouldn't have made the move. But all I can think if is the 400 employees will now be left in limbo for the next six months while the parent company "reviews its operations". I've worked at a company that was acquired by the a US corporation, and usually what happens is that the Canadian employees get systematically laid off. Asta la vista, baby! Thanks for nothing. And I'm annoyed that everytime Canada comes up with a good idea, the US finds a way to "acquire it". It's gotten to such a point that Canadians seem to think it's necessary to go to the States to become legitimate. I'm used to this happening in the acting world, and was truly saddened to see it happening to the business world as well. (I know that this is nothing new, but like I said, I don't really follow business all that much).

I suppose I should be happy for Sandra Wilson. After all, she just made a whackload of cash. But all I feel right now is disappointed and disillusioned. I hope it all works out in the end.

Well, that's about as political and rant-y as I get. I guess I will never become the Prime Minister, huh? Sigh. I could always go to the States and become President...

1 comment:

penelopeto said...

That sucks. I love robeez for the same reasons you do, and have outfitted bumblebee in quite a few pairs. They are also a standard new baby gift, but now I might have to reassess.
I'll never begrudge anyone their success, and I'm pretty sure I'd become a sellout if the opportunity knocked, but, really, are there any grassroots Canadian businesses left?