A long-standing Northampton factory which produces luxury shoes for men has undergone a £800,000 expansion.
John Lobb, in Oliver Street, Kingsley, has been in the town since 1993 producing goodyear welted shoes, retailing from £800 to more than £1,000. In the last six years the business has doubled production to around 30,000 pairs of shoes a year, but aims to expand to 40,000 pairs with its new store room and offices which provide 30 per cent more space.
The firm will also employ extra staff, bringing the total up to 120.
The firm’s chief executive, Renaud Paul-Dauphin, said: “The magic formula of the business we are in is keeping the magic of the brand, which is down to the skill of the workers, the intricacy of the production and the quality of the product.
“For that reason it’s essential that we’re in Northampton because people here have the skill and tradition. We’re not here by accident, this is where it happens.”
Site director at the firm, Stephen Johnson, showed the Chron around the factory and detailed the intricate production of each shoe, including the 50 hands involved in the completion of each pair.
He said: “We previously didn’t have enough space in the factory to accommodate the level of production and demand, we were practically falling over ourselves trying to make it all, so when a building came up in this street it seemed like the right move.
“We could have moved further out of Northampton but this is where our staff are, and we love this building which has been a shoe factory since 1913, so we’re really happy we can stay in this street.”
The factory supplies 20 John Lobb stores around the globe, with two more being built in Shanghai and Tokyo.
Marking St Crispin‘s day John Lobb will unveil their limited edition Saint-Crépin 2013 shoe on Friday, showcasing their expertise and coinciding with the completion of the new building.