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Kinney Shoes


Kinney Shoes

G.R. Kinney Company
Fate Dissolved
Successor(s) Foot Locker
Founded New York, U.S. 1894 (1894)
Founder(s) George Romanta Kinney
Defunct September 16, 1998 (1998-09-16)
Area served United States, Puerto Rico

The G.R. Kinney Company was an American manufacturer and retailer of shoes from 1894[1] until September 16, 1998.[2] Its listing on the New York Stock Exchange, symbol KNN, began in March 1923.[3] The shoe concern was started by George Romanta Kinney whose father ran a general store in rural Candor, New York. The father became indebted and George vowed to repay his indebtedness. In 1894, at the age of 28, he had saved enough to purchase a Lester retail outlet in Waverly, New York. Kinney's success came in offering affordably priced shoes to working Americans.[4]

The business chain numbered 362 stores at the conclusion of 1929, with 44 of these opening in the final year of the decade.[5] Foot Locker began as a division of the Kinney Shoe Corporation in 1974.[6]

Chain and later a subsidiary

It was the largest family chain shoe retailer in the United States at the beginning of 1936, with 335 stores operating nationwide.[7] Although it was selling more shoes at the conclusion of 1936 than in 1929, its dollar volume was 20% to 30% below 1929.[8]

On August 31, 1963 the G.R. Kinney Company was sold to F.W. Woolworth.[2] Prior to this it was a subsidiary of the Brown Shoe Company which sold it for $45 million.[9] The firm was renamed the Kinney Shoe Corporation and continued as a fully owned subsidiary of Woolworth.[10] It retained its own eleven member board of directors and an existing panel of corporate officers.

Foot Locker exclusivity

The company continued operating throughout the 1960s and 1970s with divisions named Stylco (1967), Susie Casuals (1968), and Foot Locker (1974).[10] On September 16, 1998 the Venator Group, Woolworth's successor, announced that Kinney's 467 shoe stores and 103 Footquarters stores would close. The Foot Locker division, started in 1974, continues to this day, with Venator changing its name in 2001 to Foot Locker.[4]Footstar also maintains the trademarks of the Kinney and Woolworth brands.


In 1988 Ernest Bennett, a former security guard, was awarded a $5.8 settlement after he was injured while escorting one of Kinney's managers to a night safe deposit box. Bennett, who was represented by Larry Booth, was paralyzed from the gunshot wounds he received during the incident. The case concluded that Kinney had failed to take proper precautions to warn and protect Bennett.[11]

See also


External links

  • G.R. Kinney Company history page
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