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March 30, 2022updated 31 Mar 2022 5:48am

New Balance expands US production with latest factory

Sports apparel brand New Balance has opened a factory in Methuen, Massachusetts, in a move that furthers its commitment to US manufacturing.

By Hannah Abdulla

New Balance says the new US factory signals its strong commitment to American manufacturing and showcases its longstanding pride in American craftsmanship.

It adds Methuen is a testament to the company’s significant investments in innovation and machinery combined with the integration of lean manufacturing processes to enable a responsive US supply network for its Made running footwear.

New Balance Made footwear that is produced in the US contains a domestic value of 70% or more and makes up a limited portion of the company’s US sales. New Balance claims to be the only major athletic shoe manufacturer that has maintained factories in the United States.

The 80,000 sq ft Methuen facility underwent a US$20m renovation and began production in January. The factory currently employs more than 90 associates producing the brand’s Made 990v5 running shoe, with plans to more than double the current workforce and production capabilities by the end of the year. 

“Manufacturing has always been an important part of our company culture,” says Joe Preston, New Balance president and CEO. “Our associates have proven that high-quality athletic footwear can be produced in the US.  Their skilled craftsmanship and dedication to continuous improvement will help us meet our significant U.S. and global consumer demand and drive our continued business growth.”

Dave Wheeler, New Balance COO, adds: “We believe our commitment to domestic manufacturing drives innovation, capitalises on consumer trends and provides new market opportunities. The opening of NB Methuen significantly expands our owned manufacturing capacity and furthers our efforts to have a best-in-class value chain.”

Including NB Methuen, New Balance owns five manufacturing facilities in Maine and Massachusetts where about 1,000 US workers prepare, cut, and mould athletic shoe materials and components and then sew, press, and assemble them into the final product.

The Biden Administration has recently doubled down efforts to relocate manufacturing after the Covid pandemic revealed the exposure of US supply chains.

“The opening of New Balance’s facility here in Methuen is a signal to folks across the Merrimack Valley that good-paying domestic manufacturing jobs aren’t just a thing of the past. Rather, as we emerge from the pandemic, this new factory is a sign that right here in the birthplace of America’s Industrial Revolution, these family-sustaining jobs are here to stay,” says Congresswoman Lori Trahan. “I’m proud to help welcome New Balance to Methuen where the company will continue its long history of producing products that are Made in America and help spur economic growth across our entire region.”

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