France's leading shoe wholesaler, Groupe Royer, has signed a "strategic partnership in Europe" with US-based high performance running shoes and lifestyle footwear group New Balance.

It includes the distribution of its products in France, Germany and the Benelux. New Balance’s current sales and marketing representatives in the countries covered by the partnership are to be offered job opportunities within the Royer group.

Commenting on the agreement, New Balance’s chief executive for the EMEA zone, Jonathan Ram, said: "Groupe Royer’s expertise in distribution and logistics will complement our know-how in marketing and merchandising and help us reach the objectives set for the brand."

The Boston firm’s European HQ in Warrington, in the UK, will continue to oversee strategy, customer marketing and regional initiatives related to products and merchandising, as well as concentrating on the design of top-of-the-range sports shoes manufactured at its plant in Flimby, in Cumbria.