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Clarks Steps Back Into UK Manufacturing With 80 Jobs In Somerset

03 Jul 2017

Clarks Steps Back Into UK Manufacturing With 80 Jobs In Somerset

After more than a decade’s absence, British footwear specialist Clarks is to return some manufacturing to the UK in a move which will create 80 new jobs in Somerset.

The new manufacturing unit will be at the shoe retailer’s headquarters in Street, Somerset, the county where Clarks first started trading almost two centuries ago in 1825.

The new jobs will be a mix of technical manufacturing jobs and managerial positions and reverses the firm’s decision to move shoe making abroad after closing its last UK manufacturing plant at Millom in Cumbria in 2006.

The new manufacturing plant in Somerset will, with the help of cutting edge robot technology, produce up to 300,000 pairs of the retailer’s Desert Boots line of footwear; the equivalent of 3,750 pairs of shoes per employee at the Street facility.

Worldwide, Clarks sells more than 50 million pairs of shoes a year but is now looking to slash their product-design-to-store-stocking time from over 70 weeks to as few as 13 weeks by manufacturing in local markets.

Desert Boots are currently manufactured in India and Vietnam but Clarks has decided that the time is right to step back into shoe making in the UK. The company will still, however, manufacture overseas, with more plants expected to be opened in Europe, the United States and Asia over the coming years.

The Street manufacturing facility is still subject to planning permission, but Clarks hopes to have production up and running at the site some time next year.

Announcing the new manufacturing jobs in Somerset, chief executive of Clarks, Mike Shearwood, said: “We are delighted to be bringing shoe manufacturing back to the UK and creating a significant number of highly skilled jobs.”

“Clarks is changing and as a global business we need to innovate and respond to the changing global economic order – Clarks is thinking big and innovating to ensure we are fit for the future and at the forefront of shoe making, whilst being able to adapt to an ever-changing world.”

“The 21st century craftsmanship that we are introducing will also lead to and encourage innovation in shoe design. It will be transformative to the process of how we design and develop shoes,” added Mr Shearwood.

If you are ready to step into a new job in this part of the UK then you can apply for some of the part time jobs in Somerset which we are trying to fill today...

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