The Celebration of a Century

    New Balance Opens World's First Ever Experience Store in Beijing

    BEIJING, Aug. 17 /CNW/ -- New Balance has announced the opening of its
first ever Experience Store on Beijing's Qianmen Avenue.  Celebrating the
brand's past, present and future, New Balance proudly showcases its
century-long heritage to bring a completely new brand retail experience to


    103 Years of Running Shoe Expertise... and Counting

    It was 1906 in Boston - the city of marathons - when William J. Riley
discovered, in his own backyard, that a chicken could use its three claws to
maintain perfect balance.  As a result, Riley was inspired to apply the
balance principle to his design of the most advanced arch support system the
world had ever seen. This new support system afforded more comfort and a
better fit than ever before. It was this legendary story that was the humble
beginning of what has evolved into today's New Balance.  Since then, New
Balance has continued to passionately and diligently pursue the best quality
and comfort in their products.  This has resulted in an organization that
today provides top-quality shoes, offering comfort across six different widths
and two different heights.   This spirit of professionalism and passion has
accompanied the brand from the day it was founded 103 years ago, to its newest
presence today, in Beijing, China.

    A Brand New Retail Experience

    The two-floor 2000+ square foot New Balance Experience Store is located
on Beijing's famous Qianmen Avenue.  Qianmen Avenue is one of the most
historical commercial streets in Beijing, with more than 500 years of history.
 That New Balance has chosen Qianmen Avenue as the location for its first ever
Experience Store is no coincidence. In this new endeavor, New Balance
continues to lead in innovation while remaining firmly rooted in the heritage
of its past.

    The first floor's decor is inspired by New Balance's heritage with a
nostalgic feel harkening back to the 1950s and 60s.  Using materials that are
worn and textured, the store's first level is dedicated to the brand's rich
history, complete with framed archival logos, vintage New Balance ads and
various brand paraphernalia dating as far back as 1910.

    A DNA ribbon which extends from the first floor entrance all the way to
the second floor takes the consumer through a chronological journey
documenting the brand's rich past, present and future. The detail in the
overall store design is further complimented by audio, visual and olfactory
experiences throughout the store including the unique smell of oak reminiscent
of a shoe store's scent from the mid-20th century.

    The environmental ambiance of the second floor is consistent with the
first floor, paying homage to the brand's signature grey while introducing the
brand's modern day technology-based offerings amidst an evolved red and grey
color scheme.

    Rob DeMartini, chief executive officer and president of New Balance
states, "We are excited about this new store model that pays tribute to our
heritage, celebrates our innovation and sets a new standard of retail
excellence within the global marketplace. The New Balance Experience Store in
Beijing allows consumers to engage with our rich brand story that is 103 years
in the making."

    The New Balance Carnival

    The grand opening of the world's first ever New Balance Experience Store
in Beijing is a landmark event in the company's history. On August 15th, its
opening day, New Balance hosted a 1960s-style American carnival along
Beijing's Qianmen Avenue.  With the trappings of a real carnival, it spanned
Qianmen Avenue with its games, gifts, balloons and carnival-style decor.  Fun
for the entire family, the carnival included games related to New Balance's
running DNA, foot width measuring activities and treadmill challenges all
communicating the idea of health and sport.  In addition to different prizes,
New Balance prepared 123 limited-edition T-shirts for guests.  Also on display
during the carnival were classic New Balance shoes, each providing a window
into the unique product created throughout the company's history.

    The grand opening of New Balance's first Experience Store was attended by
the senior executives of the company, including Global CEO Rob T. DeMartini,
Global Executive Vice President of International Alan Hed, Regional General
Manager of Asia Pacific Darren Tucker, and China General Manager Michael
Wellman.  The New Balance Experience Store's display of the brand's past,
present and future not only showcases the company's authentic heritage and
spirit but also demonstrates its determination towards reaching its goal of
turning China into the brand's second largest market, following the United
States.  New Balance has plans to open as many as 1,000 stores in China before

    The Total Fit Campaign

    During the weeks surrounding the New Balance Experience store opening,
New Balance is hosting the brand's "Total Fit Campaign." The campaign is
geared towards the Chinese market. In addition to helping highlight healthy
running ideas and foot care concepts, the campaign shares inspiring stories of
runners from around China.  The company will select 88 of the most inspiring
runners - each with a story of their own - to take part in an international
marathon in Hong Kong.  They will also be holding a "6km Run" open for public
participation in Nanjing and Hangzhou following its initial success in

    About New Balance

    New Balance, headquartered in Boston, MA has the following mission:
Demonstrating responsible leadership, we build global brands that athletes are
proud to wear, associates are proud to create and communities are proud to
host. New Balance employs more than 4000 people around the globe, and in 2008
reported worldwide sales of $1.64 billion.  For more information please visit


For further information:

For further information: Jennifer Liu of New Balance China, (021)
23265651, cell, 13916902666,; or Lauren
Burns of New Balance US, +1-617-779-7642, cell, +1-617-595-2493, Web Site:

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