World Footwear


Church & Co invests in the UK

Jun 9, 2014 United Kingdom
Church & Co invests in the UK
The historic British footwear company will double the size of its Northampton factory after acquiring two plots of land
The company currently owned by the Prada Group, announced they have purchased two sites of land, a 3.5 acre site adjacent to its St James factory and another one of nearly 1.25 acres. The extension will add 130 000 square feet (roughly 12 thousand square meters) to the existing 110 000 square feet factory (approximately 10 thousand square meters).

This investment is said to have the ability to increase capacity from 250 000 to 300 000 pairs of shoes per year, creating 150 new manufacturing jobs, and construction is expected to start later this year.

Church & Co investments won’t stop here as the company intends to build a new global distribution center in 2016, but location wasn’t revealed yet.

Chief Executive Stephen Etheridge said he was proud to be part of Northampton’s “heritage and bright future”, adding: “It is an exciting time for us, and with our current site at maximum capacity with no room to develop, we have been exploring a number of different options. This gives us the opportunity to secure the long term future of the brand in St James which we consider to be key as we continue to develop and grow.”

Church & Co roots go back to the 17th century and to Stone Church who trained as a cordwainer and master shoemaker. His skills were passed down to his great-grandson Thomas who opened a small factory with his sons and his wife Eliza in Northampton in 1873, initialing the long history of one of the most important shoe manufacturers in the United Kingdom.

According to the British Footwear Association (BFA) the largest manufacturers in the country are Hotter, New Balance and Church & Co. In fact, BFA declared that: “Both Hotter, which accounts for nearly one in three of all shoes made in the UK, and New Balance are reaping the rewards from making considerable investment in equipment and staff.” Now, Church & Co is joining Hotter and New Balance in the investments trend.

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