New Balance is planning to open what chairman Jim Davis has described as a “factory of the future” in Methuen, Massachusetts. That’s according to The Boston Globe, which reports that state tax breaks amounting to $900,000 and property tax breaks of $272,000 will help subsidize the $33 million project.
The factory will be New Balance’s sixth in the New England region, where the brand produces most of its Made in USA footwear. This will be the first manufacturing plant New Balance has opened in two decades.
In return for the tax breaks, New Balance has pledged to create 60 new jobs in the 80,000-square-foot factory. According to the Globe, the focus will be on testing advanced manufacturing techniques, 3D printing, and research and development.
New Balance is the most high-profile sneaker brand to still manufacture a significant portion of its shoes in the United States, with most brands moving most of their production overseas to cut costs. New Balance produces around three million pairs of shoes a year in New England.
Judging by Davis’ comments and the Globe report, the new factory could be similar to adidas’ SPEEDFACTORY locations in Atlanta and Germany, where the German sportswear giant focuses on autonomous manufacturing.
This news from New Balance comes after Trump made headlines over his trade war with China, which could result in American tariffs rising an additional 25 percent. Nike, adidas, ASICS and other footwear brands also signed an open letter to Trump, calling the tariffs “catastrophic.”
Head to The Boston Globe for the full report.
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