Although apparel will cover roughly 70 percent of the product sold and footwear will only account for 30 percent, representatives from New Balance said shoes are a staple of the brand and will always remain a priority.
“Footwear has always been the heart if New Balance, but what we’ve been trying to do as we approach this metropolitan female athlete we have to have that full package for her, head to toe,” said Sarah Kopriva, GM of NB Women, Walking and Kids, at the catalogue’s launch event Tuesday night. “Footwear is still the core of our business and apparel is now adding to that.”
The catalogue, shipping Sept. 8, features the brand’s latest assortment of footwear, including the brand’s biggest product stories of the season, from running (Fresh Foam Zante) to training (Fresh Foam 822v2), as well as the season’s new apparel looks.
The brand, according to Kopriva, is trying to engage today’s athletic female, – who they refer to at New Balance as the metropolitan female athlete – that not only participates in fitness activities herself but also engages in fitness activities with friends.
“The marketplace can do a better job addressing her needs, and New Balance could, quite honestly,” said Norma Delaney, head of global marketing for New Balance Women. “Out of passion and interest and desire we pulled this together. For us, it’s timely because the brand is focusing on getting more youthful, we’ve got a great roster of female athletes that are relevant to her, we’ve got the [Always In] Beta campaign, and we’ve got a footwear and apparel assortment like we’ve never had before.”
Through the catalogue, the brand is encouraging shoppers to download and use the Blippar app, which through selected pages will reveal content including videos, stories and details about the lives of the brand’s sponsored athletes. Although the app does not provide the user with the ability to purchase New Balance products, Delaney confirmed with FN at the launch event that they are looking to install a commerce component for 2016. The catalogue also contains a loyalty card that showcases the benefits of the My NB Loyalty Program for Athletes.
After the release of the first catalogue, New Balance will release a second catalogue in November.