Merrell Shoes, the shoe company founded by former CEO and wife Merrell Branden, announced last week that it was ending its relationship with women’s footwear company New Balance.
The announcement came on the heels of the company’s announcement that it will end its relationship in 2020 with women who wear Merrell footwear, which it first acquired in 2004.
“It was not an easy decision, and it was not the easiest decision to make, but the right one,” New Balance CEO Mike Duke said in a statement.
“The new New Balance is designed to reflect the diversity of our customer base, and we will continue to build on the leadership of Merrell.”
Merrell will continue selling women’s line shoes and apparel through New Balance, according to a press release from the company.
Merrell has not announced how many women’s products will continue through 2020, but Duke has said that New Balance’s products “are more affordable and have more options.”
Duke also told Fortune that he was not “comfortable” making women’s shoe offerings available to women.
“I think that’s where the conversation about women’s product is right now,” he said.
Merritreals statement comes as New Balance has been criticized for its high prices, poor customer service, and lackluster sales.
New Balance said in its announcement that its new footwear was designed to “enrich and inspire.”
Merritrell Shoes announced in a press conference last week it will no longer be selling its women’s brand shoes and merchandise through New England-based New Balance after 2019.
Meritrls decision comes after New Balance announced last year that it would not be making any further sales of women’s women’s clothing.
In a statement to Fortune, New Balance Chief Operating Officer and CEO Mike Pare said in the statement that the decision to end the partnership “comes at a time when we are taking steps to improve our relationship with the women who have helped us shape our brand for decades.”
“New Balance has always stood for and valued the best in our customers,” he continued.
“As a result, New England has long had a strong relationship with Merrell, and I am proud to say that New England continues to have a great relationship with New Balance.”