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Thursday, 21 August 2014

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Celebrities boost sales of trainers made in Cumbria

There has been a boom in sales of New Balance trainers after celebrities have been stepping out in them.

Sales of the trendy US brand, which has a UK factory in Flimby, have shot up by a staggering 900 per cent on online-only retail store Asos.

And the shoe’s success is being helped along by stars such as singer Rhianna wearing them last month, as well as fellow recording star Pharrell Williams and Madonna’s daughter Lourdes being a fan.

Flimby has been home to New Balance since 1982. The factory employs 210 people and produces 28,000 pairs of trainers a week – 90 per cent of which are sold in Europe.

The 574 model of shoe – which Rhianna has been snapped wearing – is the most popular line, accounting for a third of New Balance sales on Asos in 2013.

Asos, which classes itself as the UK’s largest online fashion retailer, said that New Balance is its second bestseller after Nike.

The Flimby firm received another boost when it was announced Irish athletes will be wearing its shoes at the next Olympic Games.

The company has agreed a sponsorship deal with the Olympic Council of Ireland, which means that athletes will be wearing New Balance branded kit at Rio de Janeiro in 2016 and at the Winter Olympic Games next year.

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