New Balance plans to become fashion brand

New Balance is repositioning as a fashion brand in an effort to increase sales in Europe. The brand has appointed fashion consultancy Canoe to handle the change.

The company has created a new division to focus on the development of its lifestyle brands, New Balance Classics and PF Flyer. It has appointed former national account manager for the brands Richard Watts as the head of the European lifestyle division.

New Balance carried out a review of its business in the summer, following the appointment of brand consultancy Fresh (MW July 8). UK marketing manager Robert Ward says New Balance will be working to improve the distribution of its high-end products in fashion stores. It plans to use the fashion press to raise awareness.

The company will also continue to develop its sports performance products, its focus in recent years. It does not endorse athletes, but has been involved in event sponsorship. New Balance plans to carry on using corporate affairs company Silverhammer to promote its “Made in Britain” status.

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