Chaco’s Paonia future uncertain after sale

The sale of Chaco, a Paonia fixture and international sandal company, has left the company’s location up in the air, according to Mark Paigen, president and founder of Chaco.

Paigen said Tuesday that the sale of Chaco to a Michigan-based company leaves open the question of whether the 20-year-old firm will remain based in Delta County.

“Whether it stays in Paonia remains to be seen,” he said. “We just don’t know yet.”

Wolverine World Wide, a Michigan-based shoe and boot firm, announced last week it has acquired Chaco for an undisclosed sum.

Paigen said Chaco employs 43 workers between its Paonia office and its Delta distribution center.

He said the employees were kept in the loop over the past two weeks since Wolverine World Wide announced its intentions to buy Chaco.

Scott Sible, president of Wolverine World Wide’s Outdoor Group, said in a statement that his company looks forward to adding Chaco to its brand.

“In the next few weeks, we will work closely with Mark Paigen and his team to ensure a smooth integration and make sure that Chaco’s retail partners, as well as its loyal consumers, continue to experience the outstanding customer service Chaco is so well known for,” he said. “We are pleased to add this prestigious outdoor brand to our family.”

Chaco will become one of several well-known footwear brands Wolverine World Wide has acquired, including Hush Puppies, Wolverine and Sebago.

Paigen said Chaco’s revenues have slowed due to the recession. He declined to comment, though, on whether the company’s falling profits contributed to the decision to sell.


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