A Shoemaker Gets a Makeover

A pair of turnaround specialists got footwear giant R.G. Barry back on its feet

Many styles of Dearfoams' NV line of shoes.

Things were not looking good for R.G. Barry Corp., and that was before the plant manager was taken hostage. The $125 million company in Pickerington, Ohio, has been making Dearfoams slippers--sold mostly in department stores like J.C. Penney, Sears and Wal-Mart--since 1947. With the son of a founder presiding as chairman for 40 years, the company peaked in the mid-'90s with sales of $150 million and its stock price at $25. By mid-2003, Barry had lost $20 million, sales were plummeting, its stock was at $2.08, and it was in default on a $10 million loan from its longtime lender, Huntington...

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