Clarks Cos. names team to lead retail expansion

Newton Upper Falls, Mass. -- Shoe manufacturer and retailer Clarks Cos. announced it has put a new real estate team in place to help reach its aggressive expansion goals.

According to Somerset, England-based parent C&J Clark, its retail division has opened nearly 300 company-owned, full price and outlet stores in the U.S. over the last 18 years and plans to add 30 to 50 new stores per year, with a goal of doubling its footprint over the next five years.

Bob Miller, Senior VP retail, said Brianna Kling has been promoted to director of the Northeast Region, and Jim Balducci has joined Clarks as regional director of the Western Region.

Criss Nigro, VP real estate, will lead the new team's growth throughout the U.S. and Puerto Rico.
 
The company's Canadian division has also announced that Kathy Linkletter has joined the organization as it embarks on its own development of a retail chain.  Clarks Canada has developed a robust wholesale business and recently opened several franchised units in Quebec and Ontario, and plans to open corporate stores are in the works, according to the company.

Full-price Clarks shoe stores in the U.S. are 2,500 sq. ft. and outlets are 3,000 sq. ft.