Palisade Capital exits Shoe Sensation

J.W. Childs Associates LP said Tuesday it has acquired a majority interest in Shoe Sensation. Palisade Capital Management L.L.C. was the seller. Financial terms weren’t announced. Jeffersonville, Indiana-based Shoe Sensation is a family footwear retailer in the Midwestern United States.


BOSTON–(BUSINESS WIRE)–J.W. Childs Associates, L.P., a private equity firm specializing in leveraged buyouts and recapitalizations of middle-market growth companies, today announced it has acquired a majority interest in Shoe Sensation, a leading family footwear retailer in the Midwestern United States, from Palisade Concentrated Equity Partnership II, L.P., a private equity partnership managed by Palisade Capital Management, L.L.C. Financial terms of the investment were not disclosed. This acquisition represents the third investment by J.W. Childs since the formation of J.W. Childs Equity Partners IV, L.P. in April 2014.

Shoe Sensation has been a community-focused retailer of branded footwear for the entire family since 1984. The company offers a broad selection of well-known brands at great prices with outstanding customer service. Shoe Sensation has retail locations in Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

“Shoe Sensation has an attractive business model that addresses the needs of residents in small communities for branded footwear, and the company is well-positioned for further growth within the steadily growing footwear industry,” said Adam Suttin, a Partner at J.W. Childs. “We look forward to working closely with the management team in support of their expansion as they continue to build upon their nearly 30-year heritage.”

“Shoe Sensation has experienced over six consecutive years of comparable store revenue growth and, since 2010, has grown from 62 locations in 10 states to 115 stores in 17 states,” said Jeffrey Serkes, Chief Operating Officer of Palisade Capital. “It has been a pleasure working with the company’s management team over the past several years, as both they and Shoe Sensation’s employees have built a terrific culture that has the company poised for continued success.”

Three executives from J.W. Childs will join the Shoe Sensation Board of Directors: Partners Adam Suttin and William Watts and Vice President Hemanshu Patel. Also in connection with the acquisition by J.W. Childs, Joseph Fortunato, a long-time specialty retail executive and CEO of GNC from 2005 to 2014, will join the Board. Executives and representatives of Palisade Capital, which had a controlling interest in the company since 2008, will step down from their respective Board positions.

“We are thrilled to have J.W. Childs as a partner as we enter a new phase of growth for our company and expand our retail presence over the next several years,” said Mike Zawoysky, Chief Executive Officer of Shoe Sensation. “We are excited to continue serving local communities by leveraging our retail expertise and network of best-in-class brands. I would also like to thank Palisade Capital for their outstanding support during the past seven years.”

McDermott Will & Emery LLP provided legal counsel to J.W. Childs. Troutman Sanders LLP provided legal counsel to Shoe Sensation.

About Shoe Sensation
Shoe Sensation is a leading family footwear retailer serving communities across the Midwest. Since its first store opened in 1984, Shoe Sensation has focused on giving customers of all ages access to top footwear brands. Headquartered in Jeffersonville, Indiana, the company operates more than 115 retail locations across 17 states, including Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Pennsylvania, South Dakota, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin. For more information, please

About J.W. Childs Associates, L.P.
J.W. Childs is a Boston-based private equity firm focused on investing in middle-market growth companies. Since inception in 1995, J.W. Childs has invested in excess of $3 billion of equity capital in more than 40 best-in-class companies across the consumer, specialty retail and healthcare industries. The firm’s success has been built on its industry focus and the extensive operating expertise of its partners. For more information, please visit

About Palisade Capital Management, L.L.C.
Palisade Capital Management, L.L.C., founded in 1995, is an SEC-registered investment adviser with $4.5 billion of assets under management. Palisade manages assets on behalf of institutional clients and high net worth individuals. The firm manages institutional investment strategies focused on small-cap core equities, small-, smid-, and mid-cap growth equities, long/short equities, long-only convertible securities, convertible arbitrage, and private equity. Palisade Capital also provides comprehensive investment management services for individuals. The firm is located in Fort Lee, New Jersey. For more information,