Eastbay.com - Let Us Outfit You!

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Eastbay is a world supplier of quality athletic footwear and apparel, featuring major brands such as Nike, Reebok, adidas and New Balance. Established to meet the performance needs of high school and college athletes, that mission takes Eastbay's catalogs and Internet site around the globe - to all 50 states and more than 120 foreign countries and properties.

It's a remarkable story that began in 1980 when boyhood pals and coaches Art Juedes and Rick Gering set out to find professional-quality shoes for their athletes and ended up in business for themselves.

With little more than $7,000 worth of running shoes and a dream, they set up clinics near their Wausau, WI, home.

At each stop they told about the benefits of their shoes and handed out a price list. In 1983 that price list become a four-color catalog, featuring shoes for track and field as well as baseball. Operators were hired to take the orders, and by 1988, Eastbay's call center, shipping and creative departments occupied an entire city block.

Eastbay's team sales division was created in 1989 and its first in-house catalog was produced in 1990. That also was the year Eastbay established its own brand of clothing, offering jackets, pants, short and tops in a variety of team colors.

Still, Eastbay's biggest move came in 1995 when it was decided to take the company public. And on Friday, Sept. 29, Eastbay opened on the Nasdaq stock exchange at $19.50 a share. Two years later, shareholders sold the company to retail giant Woolworth for $146 million.

As growth continued and the need for space increased, Eastbay moved its downtown corporate operation and retail store to Wausau's west side in July 1997, and in October, combined its shipping department and various warehouses in a new 250,000-square-foot Distribution Center.

By 1998, Eastbay's team sales division was serving about 8,000 high schools and colleges. And in March, Eastbay converted its informational Web site to an e-commerce site at www.eastbay.com.

Although an era ended when Eastbay founders Art and Rick retired on June 30, 1999, the business continued to thrive.

Today, Eastbay has more than 2,000 employees and is the world's largest direct-mail athletic footwear and apparel company. Eastbay's purchasing department buys tens of thousands of products each year, and its creative services department employs about 40 artists, photographers and editorial associates who create more than 75 catalogs annually, with a circulation of more than 80 million customers worldwide.

Orders are taken by associates at Catalog Communication Centers in Wausau, Oshkosh and Green Bay. Together the call centers employ hundreds of workers, fielding inquiries from thousands of customers, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Completed orders are shipped from Eastbay's Distribution Center that's staffed by more than 400 workers, who saw their workplace double in size when expansion was completed in 2002.

Eastbay's parent company also underwent revision in November 2001, changing its name to Foot Locker, Inc., a reflection of its global commitment to the athletic footwear and apparel business. But even as Eastbay continues to grow, it remains committed to providing athletes and coaches with the absolute best in performance footwear and apparel, both today, and in the years to come.

support your favorite team with fan gear from Eastbay.com

Plato is dear to me, but dearer still is truth.



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