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Thursday, December 13, 2007

New Balance aquires Vital Apparel Group

In a push to grow its small sports apparel business, New Balance Athletic Shoe Inc. announced the acquisition yesterday of a New York clothing company that will immediately double its sales.
The Boston athletic shoe maker bought Vital Apparel Group, of Huntington Station, N.Y., for an undisclosed price.

The acquisition is the first by New Balance since Rob DeMartini became chief executive in April and was charged with making the $1.55 billion company a $3 billion one by 2012.

New Balance is focusing on apparel - targeting runners, competitive high school and college athletes, and fitness enthusiasts.
Until now, its clothing sales accounted for “well south” of 10 percent of its overall sales, DeMartini said.

Apparel sales for companies such as Nike, Adidas and Reebok, meantime, typically account for at least one-third of their overall sales.
“It probably puts us fourth today,” DeMartini said. “Reebok is a little difficult to estimate because such a big part of their business is the NFL license. We may be as big as them in the non-license area.”

Vital Apparel Group comprises Vital Apparel, a women’s active brand; Vital Accessories, which has the license for Soffe accessories; and the Vital Performance division, which includes InSport, a running apparel and military-issue brand.

Vital also produces Aspire, a Sports Authority private-label brand.
“They’ll continue to do what they’re doing and use their experience and familiarity with a couple of key channels, particularly sporting goods, to help lead development of the New Balance brand,” DeMartini said.

In June, Vital signed a licensing agreement to develop branded apparel for the New Balance-owned Warrior brand.

Vital’s operations will continue to be based in New York. Its approximately 100 employees will be retained.

Vital president Kerry Kligerman will become executive vice president of New Balance’s apparel division, which will remain headquartered in Lawrence.

By Donna Goodison
www.bostonherald.com

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Good post!! Adidas is my favorite brand.. I like to wear this brand apparel and shoes...