New Balance Creates Comfort/Casual Unit

New Balance Creates Comfort/Casual Unit
Bob Infantino

New Balance is staking a bigger claim in the casual market.

The Boston-based company has partnered with industry veteran Bob Infantino in the creation of DryDock Footwear, an independent business unit set up to develop its casual-comfort brands Aravon and Dunham. Infantino, most recently president of Clarks Cos. N.A., will assume the same role at DryDock.

According to a company release, DryDock Footwear will be based in Boston, with Infantino spearheading development of the New Balance brands, in addition to creating new labels in the casual arena.

“We’re getting together to do what [New Balance Chairman Jim Davis] did so nicely with [New Balance’s] size and width selection,” said Infantino, regarding the company’s initiatives.

Aravon and Dunham associates will be transferred to DryDock and will be joined by a small team assembled by Infantino. DryDock will have complete responsibility for product design and sourcing of the casual brands, while New Balance will work with DryDock on providing back-office services such as finance, IT and warehousing.

For more, see the May 30 issue of Footwear News.

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