Richard Caborn, Minister for Sport, received a pair of personalised running shoes during his recent tour of New Balance’s Flimby factory to mark the company’s 25th year of domestic manufacture.
New Balance enjoyed a 45 per cent increase in revenue growth in the UK last year and is implementing new working practices at its factory in Flimby, Cumbria. This includes incorporating ‘LEAN’ manufacturing, which in the year to date has resulted in a 30 per cent increase in productivity. This has not only led to increased output, but also a long-term sustainable future for the company.
While many footwear manufacturers have moved production away from the UK, New Balance believes domestic manufacturing can play a key role in developing improved service levels for retailers, where the ability to replenish stock on short lead times is fast becoming an integral part of the survival kit for high street retailers.
New Balance’s current production forecast for 2007 is 1.375 million pairs of shoes, with a plan to grow this figure to three million over the next few years.