New Balance moved forward with plans for a new New Hampshire manufacturing facility with a groundbreaking ceremony in Londonberry. The site will mark the footwear maker’s sixth U.S. production site.
New Balance plans to invest $70 million into the 102,000-square-foot single-story building, which is scheduled to begin production in 2025. The facility is expected to add 150 new jobs to the local economy.
“The Granite State is known for its strong economy and skilled workforce, and we look forward to New Balance Londonderry being an integral part of our growing domestic factory base,” said Joe Preston, president and CEO, New Balance. “This new factory will help us meet our significant U.S. and global consumer demand and drive future business opportunities that showcase our longstanding pride in American craftsmanship and innovation.”
Boston-based New Balance operates two factories in Lawrence and Methuen, Massachusetts; Norridgewock, Norway and Skowhegan, Maine; along with one additional factory in Flimby, U.K.
In July, the company broke ground on a $65 million expansion on its Skowhegan, Maine, factory. The single-story addition, which is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2024, will add 200 new jobs and double the factory’s production capability.
“With business and innovation flourishing in New Hampshire, we are excited to break ground in Londonderry for our sixth U.S. athletic footwear factory,” said Dave Wheeler, chief operating officer, New Balance. “Our relentless focus on manufacturing innovation and growing our U.S. footprint are two of the most important strategic initiatives we’ve sustained at New Balance and reflects the core of our culture.”
New Balance joins Black-owned JEMS by Pensole shoe factory, which opened in March with support from DSW’s owner in Somersworth, N.H., about an hour away from Londonberry.
“This project will bring hundreds of jobs and millions of dollars in new tax revenue to Londonderry. Adjacent to the Manchester Boston Regional Airport, Londonderry’s Pettengill Road area is one of the state’s economic engines,” said Londonderry Town Manager Mike Malaguti. “Instead of offshoring all its manufacturing as so many companies have done, New Balance has leaned into American manufacturing.”
Domestic manufacturing has been a priority for New Balance, which says its shoes contain a “domestic value of 70 percent or more” in compliance with Made in America labeling standards for its premium MADE U.S. collection. But the company came under fire in 2021 when a class-action lawsuit claimed it did not actually meet the Federal Trade Commission standards for Made in America labeling.
New Balance said it is “proactively working to innovate and expand its domestic supplier network for its MADE U.S. footwear,” along with adding new automation and robotics opportunities to enhance safety and increase productivity for its more than 1,500 total employees.