Wednesday, September 23, 2009

New Balance 420

Todays shoe is the New Balance 420. This is a re launched version of the shoe that is available today. I believe the originals were released some time in the 70's. (Dan Maybe you can insert some history here).

Here is a brief history of New Balance via. wiki.

In 1906, William J. Riley, a 33 year old English immigrant, founded the New Balance Arch Support Company, which manufactured arch supports and other accessories designed to improve shoe fit, in Boston, Massachusetts. In 1934, Riley took on as a partner his top salesman, Arthur Hall, who had found his niche by marketing his products to people whose jobs required them to spend much time standing. In 1956, Hall sold the business to his daughter Eleanor and her husband Paul Kidd.

Eleanor and Paul continued to sell mainly arch supports until 1961, when they designed and manufactured the "Trackster," the world's first running shoe made with a ripple sole. It was also the first running shoe to come in varying widths.

Marketing was mostly by word-of-mouth or local sports fairs, and sales languished, until 1972, when current Chairman Jim Davis bought the company on the day of the Boston Marathon. At the time, the company consisted of just six people making 30 pairs of shoes daily and selling products mostly through mail-order with a few U.S. retailers. Jim committed himself to uphold the company's traditional commitment to individual preferences, customer service, and quality products. His future wife Anne, who joined the company in 1978, focused on building a distinct culture for New Balance employees, and customers. Their timing was perfect, as the Boston area soon became a veritable hotbed of the running boom which struck the U.S. in the 1970s. Their product line expanded and sales skyrocketed. The homegrown company prospered, and the Davises looked to expand New Balance into a global company. The company is now run by California native Rob DeMartini. DeMartini's background includes Procter & Gamble and Gillette Shave Company. Today, 30% of the shoes sold in the European market are manufactured at the New Balance facility in England.

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