How Brexit is affecting New Balance’s retail strategy
By WGSN Insider

The US-based activewear brand is determined to remain successful in the overseas market. WGSN Global News Editor Nigel Taylor reports.

Oct 31, 2016
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New Balance is committed to the UK, shrugging off Brexit fears, the US athletic sportswear giant has said.

Chief executive Rob DeMartini told the Press Association that Boston-based New Balance is staying in the UK where it has 600 workers, and the future of the firm’s factory in Cumbria is secure.

NEW BALANCE

After opening its biggest non-US flagship store (three floors measuring 950 sq ft) on London’s Oxford Street Thursday, he said: “We have faced plenty of political and economic challenges before and we are committed to the UK, our European headquarters are here.

“We have a big business here, we have a long-standing commitment to manufacturing in the UK, that will continue. We won’t be pushed out or scared out by regulation or economic factors.”

Its Flimby factory employs over 240 and the firm’s European headquarters in Warrington employs over 160 more.

DeMartini added that Brexit will bring the United States and the UK closer together, “we’ve been friends a long, long time”, he said.

The chief executive also flagged that Britain is one of the New Balance’s fastest growing markets “which is atypical for a developed market”.

New Balance recently signed a kit deal with Premiership football team Liverpool, joining Scottish champions Celtic and Spanish side Sevilla in its expanding sponsorship roster.

DeMartini said that given its status as the only true global sport, increasing the firm’s share of the football market would help it achieve its aim of becoming the third biggest sportswear firm in the world behind Nike and Adidas.

Next year, the brand will also takeover the kit sponsorship of the England cricket team, part of a wider play to break into the lucrative Indian market.

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