Footwear company Stride Rite Corporation is to close the Canadian headquarters of its Robeez babies' and infants' shoe unit, outsourcing manufacturing and switching back-office functions to the US.

More than 300 jobs will be lost through the closure, including about 250 in manufacturing as Stride Rite shifts all Robeez manufacturing to third-party companies.

These will be sourced through parent company Collective Brands' global sourcing and supply chain organisation.

The manufacturing plant at Burnaby, British Columbia, will close in early December, with a small team remaining in Burnaby until June next year to oversee the transition.

Customer services will move to an existing Stride Rite call centre in Indiana, while operations responsibilities will be shifted to the Stride Rite Children's Group offices in Massachusetts.

Collective Brands said the changes were aimed at "seizing growth opportunities through global expansion, innovative product line extensions targeting older age groups and new product categories".

"This strategic plan is the result of a thorough eight-month study to review the Robeez infrastructure to best support our customers, maintain competitiveness and profitably grow the business over the long term," said Susan Vann, general manager of Robeez North America.

"We have reported to the Stride Rite Children's Group for the past year and these moves make sound business sense and will better position Robeez for a strong future."