Foot Locker’s New Balance Custom Made in the USA Experience

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Made in the USA is something that is hard to come by in the world of sneakers in this day and age. It hasn’t always been the case but for New Balance, it’s something they pride themselves on. The Norridgewock, Maine factory is where New Balance churns out the classic 574, which can be created in your owned custom designed colorway on the New Balance website. For some, designing their own sneaker is the pinnacle of sneakers. But Foot Locker decided to take one of the best things about sneakers and make it even better.

This summer Foot Locker teamed up with New Balance to create an in-store experience for those looking to create their own identity when it comes to their sneaker choice. If you visit their store in Times Square, you can see all the materials and colors, all the way down to the stitching, that go into making a pair of custom designed New Balance 574s. The design station lets you customize 14 different parts of the shoe from the toebox up front to the optional custom stitched heel. It’s so many options that you won’t ever find time to create all 48 quadrillion of them (yes, it’s actually that many).

The best part about the entire experience, aside from the quality of New Balance’s Made in the USA sneakers, is that it takes relatively no time at all. After about 12 business days, the New Balance 574 you design in store will show up at your door. Of course, you can track its progress along the way if you’re too impatient. But if you think about it, the time that it takes is perfect. You could plan a nice vacation to NYC, hit up the Foot Locker in Times Square on your first day, deisgn your kicks, and by the time you head back home, they’ll likely be on their way to you. What could be more appropriate than a designed in New York City, Made in the USA, New Balance 574 to commemorate experiencing NYC?

To find out more about Made in USA Certification please visit our website: www.USA-C.com

Made in USA Certified

NEW BALANCE MADE IN THE USA / AMERICAN RENEGADE COLLECTION

New Balance has released the latest Made in the USA theme pack today with the American Renegade Collection. Taking cues from the motorcycles, hot rod cars, leather jackets and the tousled style that defined the 1950s and 1960s. In addition, the look book was shot by Nicholas Maggio and captures imagery that showcases Americana looks and the new collection. Our personal favorite is the grey 996 release.

 

 

 

 

Sneaker makers want Pentagon to buy American

By: Austin Wright – reposted from Politico
September 30, 2013 05:06 AM EDT

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Domestic shoemakers are going toe to toe with the Pentagon over its footwear policies.

New Balance is leading a charge to force the military to buy U.S.-made running shoes for recruits, meeting with members of Congress and the Obama administration to press its case.

The company sees a $50 million opportunity in a population for which running is mandatory — and a cause that might be difficult for any flag-waving politician to oppose.

The military sees a regulatory headache.

The issue is significant for the Pentagon, which today allows the services to decide for themselves how best to buy running shoes. But a provision making its way through Congress could lead to a militarywide shoe policy — and another example of the transfer of power from the services to the Office of the Secretary of Defense, which has expanded in recent years despite pledges to downsize by leaders past and present.

“We tend to grow by congressional fiat,” said one Pentagon official, requesting not to be identified to offer a candid take.

The standoff with shoemakers is also significant for the Defense Department because of the industry’s aggressive public relations push. Defense officials are accustomed to dealing with often deferential contractors, which depend on the Pentagon for a substantial portion of their sales and rarely disagree with the brass in public.

With New Balance, however, the shoe is on the other foot.

“We have not been quiet about our desire to see the department follow its own rules,” said company spokesman Matt LeBretton, referring to a 1941 statute called the Berry Amendment that requires the Pentagon to buy food, clothing and other items from producers inside the United States.

“Soldiers don’t have a choice for most of the gear that they’re given, so I don’t know why it would be different for athletic footwear,” LeBretton said. “The administration talks a lot about supporting domestic manufacturing — here’s an opportunity to do it.”

Each of the services has a different policy for equipping recruits with running shoes as they enter boot camp. The Army, for example, provides soldiers a one-time cash allowance to buy shoes from military exchanges, which stock a number of brands.

Men are given $75 for shoes and white socks, and women are given $347 for shoes, socks, black dress pumps, stockings, underwear and a black purse. The brass says it’s easier to handle this kind of purchase this way.

“For the Army to maintain those items in inventory, it would have to be quite a large inventory,” said Army spokesman Wayne Hall.

The Air Force, meanwhile, gives recruits $75 to purchase athletic shoes, also at military exchanges, following foot exams to determine the right brand and fit. The service spends about $2.3 million on the program each year, according to Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley.

Domestic shoemakers — and their allies on Capitol Hill — consider these policies a violation of the Berry Amendment because recruits are allowed to pick brands such as Nike, which produces most of its shoes outside the U.S.

Their message: Follow the lead of the Navy, which provides recruits only one brand option: New Balance.

The company was selected in part because its shoes “are assembled in the U.S.,” said Kristine Sturkie, a spokeswoman for the Navy Exchange Service Command. The service spent about $3 million last fiscal year to equip about 41,490 recruits with New Balance running shoes, she said.

A provision in the House version of this year’s defense authorization bill would force all the services to adopt a policy similar to the Navy’s — requiring military recruits to be equipped with U.S.-made shoes as they enter boot camp. The bill is expected to be taken up by the Senate before the end of the year.

The measure, championed by Democratic Reps. Niki Tsongas of Massachusetts and Michael Michaud of Maine, would take effect only once the Pentagon certifies there are two suppliers capable of producing shoes compliant with the requirements of the Berry Amendment.

“Innovative companies, such as New Balance right here in Massachusetts, are able to provide our service members with quality products and keep business here on American soil,” Tsongas said in a statement. “It is time for the Department of Defense to treat athletic footwear like every other uniform item, including boots, and buy them from American manufacturers.”

LeBretton said New Balance doesn’t produce Berry-compliant shoes today; it uses some foreign-made materials. But he said New Balance and at least one other company could produce shoes made from start to finish in the United States — if there was a military-scale demand for them.

“The ‘Field of Dreams’ analogy applies,” he said. “If you build it, they will come.”

And Steve Lamar, executive vice president of the American Apparel & Footwear Association, said his group has been lobbying hard to get the Tsongas provision included in the final version of this year’s defense authorization bill.

“We’ve been talking to folks in both the House and the Senate to urge them to include this in the final package,” Lamar said. “It’s important, and obviously for the firms involved it’s a huge economic impact.”

To learn more about Made in USA Certification: www.USA-C.com

Made in USA Certified

It’s Cool Again to be ‘Made in America’

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Advertising Age the new emerging market

Domestic Goods Are All the Rage — But Are They Good for the Bottom Line?

By:  Published: February 18, 2013

Not since the 1970s has “Made in America” been such a hot way to market your product.

On one end is Walmart‘s promise to buy an additional $50 billion in U.S.-made merchandise over the next decade; on the other are designers touting investments in New York’s shrinking garment district as a way to justify higher prices.

At the Financial Times’ New York Conference last month, Brunswick Group executive Susan Gilchrist said that Made in America is “not just about the PR opportunities. Purely from an economic view, China is losing its cost advantage.”

In 2001, the average hourly wage in China was 58¢, according to data from the Boston Consulting Group. By 2015, it will be $6. Combine that with the high productivity of American manufacturers and low energy costs, and the cost gap will close for most categories of goods to just 7% by 2015.

It’s making more business sense to manufacture in the U.S. But does it make marketing sense as the focus of a brand’s message?

In a September survey of more than 1,000 Americans by the Boston Consulting Group, more than 80% said they preferred U.S.-made goods, and that they would pay more for said goods. The same questions were asked of 1,000 Chinese consumers: 47% prefer Made in America.

Yet actions and sentiment are two different things: It often comes down to quality vs. a deal. When American-made goods deliver both, it works. “Consumers are starting to make a different tradeoff,” says Harold Sirkin, senior partner and managing director at BCG and author of the study. “Retailers are able to sell goods at a slight premium, but not too much.”

The push has support from celebrities such as Martha Stewart and Jay-Z. And American manufacturing is the raison d’etre of year-old ad agency Made Movement.

“Made in America will succeed for the same reason organic has succeeded,” said Dave Schiff, a founder of the shop. “Just like people didn’t want to eat food that was poisoning them, they want to live in a better economic climate.”

Made in America is nothing new for some brands. New Balance, American Apparel, Red Wing and Pendleton have been producing in the U.S. for years.

Others are making a push to sell more U.S.-made products. Apple recently announced it would bring some Mac production back to the U.S. And apparel brands like Club Monaco have launched lines and products marketed specifically as “Made in the USA.”

Walmart, meanwhile, sells more than $400 billion of goods each year, so some analysts say its commitment is meaningless when it comes to the bottom line. But Walmart spokesperson Randy Hargrove said that two-thirds of its products are “made here, sourced here, or grown here.” Most of that, of course, is food — Walmart is the nation’s largest grocer. This new batch of funds will help create jobs in areas where Walmart typically spends overseas, such as apparel, sporting equipment and furniture.

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Source: http://adage.com/article/news/cool-made-america/239846/?utm_source=daily_email&utm_medium=newsletter&utm_campaign=adage

To learn more about Made in USA Certification: http://www.USA-C.com

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USapparel.com is for SALE!

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