Iconic U.K.-based shoe brand Clarks is bringing manufacturing back home. Production of its Desert Boot, first launched in 1950, will take place in a new manufacturing facility located in its headquarters of Street, part of a new wholly owned global manufacturing arm of the company.
Manufacturing processes have come a long way since the company began producing shoes in the city in 1825. Today, operations will use a volume production method that applies robot-assisted technology that will produce up to 300,000 pairs a year.
According to the brand, owned by parent C&J Clark Limited, the facility will allow greater flexibility and innovation in the process of how Clarks designs and develops shoes by placing design and manufacture at the same site. Clarks will continue to source shoes from its current supply chain while gaining the ability to produce shoes in any market around the world.
The facility, two years in development, is set to be operational by early 2018 and create an estimated 80 jobs. The company plans to roll out similar production units to other locations across the U.S., Europe and Asia in the next few years.
“Clarks has always led the way in shoe design and manufacture, having developed a significant proportion of modern shoe construction technologies,” said CEO Mike Shearwood. “We are delighted to be bringing shoe manufacturing back to the U.K. and creating a significant number of highly skilled jobs.”