Whilst we regularly bring news of factory shops, discounts, and factory tours, it’s easy to forget that the shoe industry in Northampton is underpinned by forward-thinking business leaders who are helping to maintain the world-leading status of Northampton’s shoemaking industry.
Here is a quick run down of just some of the recent good news stories to come from the industry.
Cheaney opens two new stores in London
If you’re in London any time soon then take the time out to visit one of two new Cheaney concept stores that have just been opened.
The first store is in the newly opened Coal Drops Yard, part of the fantastic new development in and around Kings Cross.
William Church, Joint MD, Joseph Cheaney comments:
“Cheaney and Coal Drops Yard have much in common - deep heritage combined with a contemporary overlay to excite the adventurous consumer.”
The second store is a new outlet store which offers up to 30% off RRP on Cheaney products and is located at ICON Outlet at The O2.
With two new stores opening within weeks of one another, confidence in the Cheaney brand and products is strong, and the business continues to move forward more than 130 years since it was founded.
Dr Martens' earnings grow by 33%
With 25 new stores opening over the year, including 9 in the UK, Dr Martens now has a total of 94 stores across the world.
Still based in Northamptonshire, Dr Martens revenues have grown by 20% to £348.6 million according to their latest set of accounts, with its iconic 1460 boot and the 1461 shoe still their leading products.
Chief Executive Kenny Wilson, who took over in May, said:
“Dr Martens has delivered another outstanding year. We are an iconic brand that does things in our own unique, disruptive way and that is unifying our consumers across the globe.”
Dr Martens enduring appeal is in no small part due to its ability to provide a timeless sprinkling of English cool to style icons, and recent collaborations with the likes of Emma Watson, David and Brooklyn Beckham, Kanye West, and Zayn Malik are helping to maintain its iconic status.
Northampton set to open its first new shoe factory in over 30 years
Established since 1840, and with a celebrity customer-base including Winston Churchill, Steve McQueen and Fred Astaire, Foster & Son has opened one of the first Northampton shoe factories in decades.
Foster & Son CEO Matthew Allen talks about his ambitions for the new Northampton shoe factory:
”We are aiming to produce the finest shoes to come out of Northamptonshire. There will be a lot of hand detail. Though it's machine-made, they will still feature a lot of artisan craftsmanship that has been developed over Foster and Son's 178-year history."
The new factory will bring in new jobs, and also cements Northampton’s position as the best place to manufacture quality shoes and boots.
This is reinforced by Foster & Son's chairman, Richard Edgecliffe-Johnson, who believes (rightly in our opinion!) that Northampton still has the best shoemaking craftsmanship in the world:
"There is a lot of pressure on the industry from cheaper overseas labour but Northampton has an international reputation for shoemaking.”
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