by James Rada, Jr. photography by Amy McIntyre Devilbiss
From retail operations to distribution, Clarks Shoes leaves a big footprint in Hanover.
On a local level, residents can purchase Clarks Shoes at the Bostonian Shoe Outlet in downtown Hanover, or larger retailers including Bon-Ton, JC Penney and Super Shoes.
The Clarks Bostonian outlet has been downtown since 1983 and carries both Bostonian brand and Clarks shoes at a deep discount.
“About half our shoes are on clearance,” said Darrel Buchma, manager of Clarks Bostonian outlet. “We’re a consolidation store. As new lines come out, other stores send us their older shoes, which we sell on clearance.”
Bostonian-brand shoes have hundreds of styles that strive to meet every man’s dress shoe needs.
“There’s not a lot of dress shoe manufacturers out there,” Buchma said. “We have a lot of variety and offer a lot of value for the money.”
Clarks operates around the world, though, shipping 70 million pairs of shoes to customers and stores all over the globe. Much of that happens through the logistics center in Hanover. The around-the-clock operation converts factory orders into customer shipments. The logistics center’s goal is to streamline the process of getting shoes to customers, making it more efficient. It does this by incorporating new technologies as they become available to reduce costs and speed up delivery times.
- Before Clarks bought the company, Bostonian Shoes were made by Hanover Shoes in Hanover.
- Clarks Bostonian Outlet has two month-long sales every September and May when the store extends its normal hours in order to sell as many shoes as possible.
- Besides Bostonian, some of the popular Clarks Shoe brand names are the Desert Boot, Wallabees and Orla Kiely.
- More than 70 million pairs of Clarks Shoes are sold annually in more than 40 countries. In the United States alone, more than 20 million pairs of Clarks Shoes are sold annually.
- At the back of the Clarks Bostonian Outlet you can find a small area filled with a display of shoes dating back as much as 100 years, old pictures related to Clarks Bostonian Shoes and historic shoe-associated items.
- Clarks Shoes began in England in 1825.
- The first Clarks Shoe was a slipper called the Brown Petersburg. James Clark made it from the off-cuts and cast-offs of sheepskin rugs at his brother, Cyrus’, tannery. The slipper was so popular he was soon selling more than 1,000 pairs a month.
- Currently, there are more than 22,000 different styles of Clarks Shoes.
- Each new prototype shoe must pass up to 50 different tests, both in the lab and on people’s feet, before it is put into production.
- Clarks developed the iPad foot gauge, which uses modern technology to measure children’s feet. The foot gauge makes getting your feet measured fun and interactive.