New Balance to open Europe design bureau
A change in company culture at New Balance — at least the group's recent decisions point to a new international engagement. New Balance wants more control over its global image and needs to limit the number of its collaborative projects. Such as with product releases around the world closely followed by its international fan base — the brand wants to avoid launches that upstage each other. But the American company is closely reviewing its international organization and has decided to offer products tailored to individual markets. In 2013, New Balance will recruit teams to staff its new Europe design bureau based in Manchester. The new office will focus on the apparel range and trail running shoes. The teams, most likely international in profile, will be tasked to design models for the 2014 collections.
New Balance will be working on products in Europe that are more geared to meeting the requirements of European consumers.
However, the group's ambitions go beyond running. New Balance is gaming for a spot as a leading sportswear brand. European retailers would start carrying the brand's tennis line soon, which is already available in the U.S. And the group is looking at team sports for New Balance as well as for its Warrior Sports brand, which specializes in lacrosse, soccer and rugby apparel and equipment. Warrior recently got its initial foothold in the UK market by becoming jersey sponsor to the Liverpool Football Club.
In retailing, the brand has set its sights on Asia, where it is opening the majority of its new stores based on its "Past Present Future" concept. Two new European stores are scheduled to join the brand's approximately 1,050 international stores by winter 2012/2013 in Bologna and Venice, Italy. The Spanish market distributor has also scheduled an opening in Barcelona for sometime next year.
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