New Balance announces China ambition
US athletic footwear maker New Balance said it plans to be the number one manufacturer in China’s sports shoes market by 2012, making the country its second largest market behind the US, the 21st Century Business Herald reported. New Balance, the official sponsor for the modern pentathlon competition at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, currently accounts for less than 2% of the market, ranking it seventh. “New Balance do not have a clear position in China so they have to conduct in-depth market research to achieve better positioning,” an industry analyst told the newspaper. “They need to improve personal communications to attract more customers.” The Boston-based company posted US$1.55 billion in global revenue in 2006. China is now its fourth largest market; it has 287 outlets and seven joint venture factories.