Roots marks milestone with special initiatives

Company celebrates 40th anniversary brimming with optimism and appointment of new COO to lead future growth

TORONTO, Aug. 14, 2013 /CNW/ - On the eve of the 40th anniversary of Roots, Co-Founders Michael Budman and Don Green paid tribute to their staff and to Canada as they celebrated the milestone of the company they founded in Toronto in 1973 and discussed plans for its future growth. With events at the Toronto factory, head office and distribution centre, Don and Michael thanked all their employees for their hard work and dedication in helping make Roots so successful. At the same time, the two co-founders were also sending a video message to all retail employees.

Roots is marking the occasion with a series of special projects that draw on the rich heritage of the brand. They include an exhibit at the Toronto flagship store, a reissuing of the original negative heel shoe, a special leather jacket made in collaboration with Smythe, and a commemorative coffee table book by House of Anansi Press titled Roots: 40 Years of Style.

Tomorrow, Michael and Don will take out a full-page ad in the Globe and Mail (also posted on social media), thanking Canadians for their incredible support of Roots over the past 40 years.

"With this milestone, we want to express our gratitude for your ongoing confidence in our brand," they write in the ad. "You give us every reason to be excited about the future of Roots and Canada."

The anniversary is taking place against the backdrop of a particularly successful season for Roots as it just opened its 100th store in Asia, and earlier this summer inaugurated a new store in Venice, California.  As part of its future expansion, Roots has just appointed an accomplished retail executive as the new COO to help lead a vigorous growth plan over the next five years.

With an exemplary track record in the retail sector, Wendy Bennison will work closely with Don and Michael in taking Roots to the next level of business. Previously, as a senior leader of Mark's, Canada's largest specialty apparel and footwear store network, Wendy's portfolio included store operations, customer service, asset protection, real estate development, and store design. Among her achievements, she established and oversaw the execution of Mark's most recent phase of strategic growth designed to double its sales and earnings. Prior to joining Marks, Wendy spent 10 years in various senior management roles, including Director of Operations and Director of Human Resources at three national retailers.

"I'm thrilled to be joining one of Canada's most respected brands and to have the opportunity to work with Don and Michael, two of the country's greatest, most creative retail entrepreneurs," says Wendy. "What they have achieved over the past 40 years is nothing short of spectacular and I'm looking forward to building on that as we pursue an exciting growth plan for the next five years."


About Roots Canada:
Founded in 1973, Roots is Canada's leading lifestyle brand known for its quality leather goods, athletic apparel, accessories, and natural fiber clothing. In addition to its state-of-the-art factory and design centre in Toronto, Roots has 125 stores in Canada and the United States along with 100 retail locations in Asia. The core values that have always governed Roots are based on a commitment to active, healthy living, respect for the environment, community support and a passion for Canada.

Image with caption: "Roots Canada celebrates 40th anniversary and 100th store opening in Asia on August 15th with appointment of new COO, Wendy Bennison to lead future growth. Roots is marking the occasion with a series of special projects that draw on the rich heritage of the brand including an exhibit at the Toronto flagship store. (CNW Group/Roots Canada Ltd.)". Image available at:

SOURCE: Roots Canada Ltd.

For further information:

Robert Sarner
Director of Communication and Public Affairs
Roots Canada
Tel: 416-781-3574, ext. 4280

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Roots Canada Ltd.

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