Some good news for UK manufacturing today, as Clarks reveals that it will begin volume manufacturing shoes in Britain again.
The retailer is launching a new shoe factory at its global headquarters in Street, Somerset, where it was founded in 1825.
The new facility will allow Clarks to get ranges to market more quickly and, if successful, will lead to additional factories in the US, Europe and Asia.
As our executive editor George MacDonald writes: “Although it marks a return to Clarks’ roots in some ways, the venture is also a very 21st-century enterprise designed to enable the business to perform better in the big-picture context of ‘the changing global economic order’ and at the retail level.”
The plan has been years in the making and is not a result of the Brexit vote but it will no doubt benefit the footwear retailer as UK retailers address their sourcing methods in the wake of the Brexit vote and sterling’s consequential slump.
Fellow footwear retailer Dune revealed that boss John Egan is standing down in August, after nine years at the helm of the footwear specialist. He will be succeeded by current chief operating officer James Cox.
Elsewhere today, Jigsaw reported soaring profits and sales as boss Peter Ruis took a leaf out of his John Lewis days to pay staff a dividend. That forms a stark contrast with life at Nisa, where staff have reportedly seen their bonuses axed amid acquisition talks.
Quote of the day
“Clarks is thinking big and innovating to ensure we are fit for the future and at the forefront of shoemaking, whilst being able to adapt to an ever-changing world.”
Clarks boss Mike Shearwood on the logic behind his strategy
Today in numbers
The amount paid to Jigsaw staff as part of a company stock plan
The number of Nisa head office staff reportedly denied their annual bonuses, despite hitting targets.
Tomorrow brings Sainsbury’s first quarter results and AGM. Boss Mike Coupe will surely be pressed on the wisdom of the business’s potential acquisition of Nisa as the Sainsbury’s-Argos merger continues to bed in.
Becky Waller-Davies, reporter