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New Balance Women's and Men's Shoes and History

New Balance is a well recognized company and it has remained committed to its original strengths, including width-sizing, U.S. manufacturing and grassroots promotions. A large part of New Balance's marketing strategy is based on their support of athletes and people who think sports it´s a way of living. New Balance has positioned themselves as the "anti-Nike" and as such follows the philosophy of "Endorsed by No one". This approach has successfully gained New Balance shoes a solid reputation for quality and performance all over the world.

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New Balance was founded in 1906, by a 33 year old English immigrant named William J. Riley.He created the company with the intention of helping people with feet problems by making arch supports and prescription footwear to improve shoe fit.

In 1934, William Riley took partnership with his most skillful salesman,Arthur Hall.Mr. Hall found a place in the shoe market where Riley's shoes could be sold fruitfully.He was highly successful selling arch supports to policemen and other people whose jobs demanded to be stand in their feet for a long time.

But in 1954 Arthur Hall sold his business to his daughter and son-in-law, Eleanor and Paul Kidd.They kept selling arch supports and prescription footwear, until they manufactured “The Trackster”, the first performance running shoe made with a ripple sole, which was available in various widths.The Trackster soon became the shoe of choice of running coaches and other people in sports, however the majority of the sales were made through mail order purchases from local high schools and colleges because no other attempt was made to market the shoe.

"The invention of the first running shoe also gave New Balance a growing reputation of manufacturinginnovative and specialized shoes."

In the 1970 Paul Kidd was ready to retire and sell his company, and that's when Jim Davis, a 28 year old graduated of Middlebury College , appeared. He had worked as a sale representative of a medical electronics company for two years.

By 1972 he decided to fulfill his dream of running his own company, and that same year Davis bought New Balance for $ 100,000.

When Jim Davis acquired the company, it consisted of six people making 30 pairs of shoes per day. A few years later Jim's wife joined the company and Boston became one of the centers of the running boom that occurred in the 70´s, a perfect combination for New Balance growth.

In a very short time Davis saw himself marketing a highly popular product, and in charge of a company whose sales sky rocked. Annual sales increased from $ 221,583 in 1973, to more than $4 million in 1977.

In 1989, Davis 's leading executives told him to close the company's manufacturing facilities in U.S.A and moved them overseas.

New Balance's competitors had done it, because of the fact that production overseas was cheaper. But there was no one able to persuade Davis, he insisted in keeping the production facilities close to the headquarters.

By the 1990 New Balance was a flourishing enterprise recording important gains.Annual sales went into $474 millions in 1996, ranking the company as one of the top six best-selling footwear brands in the world.

In 1998 New Balance had transformed into one of the five leading athletic footwear brands.Demand for New Balance's shoes had increased at such a level that the company was obliged to subcontract a portion of its manufacturing facilities overseas.

By September of the same year New Balance purchased Dunham brand name and prepared to launch into the business of boots, specifically outdoor, work, and sports boots. Dunham wouldn't change its production, but New Balance planned to increase its distribution. A year later the company launched a new marketing campaign for its line of kid's athletic shoes, marketing had evolved since the time that New Balance rely only in word-of-mouth advertising.

By the 2000, the company added a manufacturing plant in California , employing more than a hundred people.

New Balance Men's Shoes and Apparel

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