Member Spotlight: The Clarks Companies, North America
In 1825, in a small village called Street in England, brothers Cyrus and James Clark created a pair of shoes out of sheepskin scraps. The shoes, called “Brown Peters” met the needs of the day – offering people exceptionally comfortable, long-lasting footwear. As word began to spread “Browns Peters” became instantly popular, and C&J Clark Limited was born.
C&J Clark grew steadily and soon expanded into the United States where, in 1977, it acquired The Hanover Shoe Company. In 1980, the company acquired the Bostonian Shoe Company – a brand recognized as America’s classic shoemaker for over 100 years. In 1995 – under the name The Clarks Companies, North America – Bostonian, Clarks and the Retail Division came together as a single organization, offering an unprecedented range of products to meet our customers’ needs.
Based in Newton Upper Falls, MA, the Clarks Companies, North America today owns and operates over 250 retail stores in the United States and Puerto Rico. The popular footwear can be found in department stores, regional shoe stores, online, in catalogs and even on QVC.
Clarks Companies is committed to more than just great footwear, and believes firmly in giving back to the community. The company is particularly dedicated to supporting people with disabilities, and, through its First Step Program, provides six-month paid internships to people with disabilities. Some program participants go on to a career at Clarks, while others take the experience and confidence they gain there to other employment opportunities.
“For Clarks, joining the NEC was an easy decision. No other organization is as informed about legislation affecting New England businesses,” said Jim Salzano, CCNA’s President. “We knew we could count on the NEC to listen to our voice and to be a resource for the footwear industry in this area.”