The Tokyo unit of NEW BALANCE ATHLETIC SHOE INC. is putting more emphasis on sportswear -- a business that generated sales of roughly $17.1 million in 1997, or 10 percent-plus of the Allston, Massachusetts company's Japan revenues. Current plans call for New Balance sportswear to be carried by between 300 and 360 sporting goods stores and other outlets within the next year or so. That would triple the brand's present retail coverage. To help reach this target as well as the goal of boosting New Balance clothing sales to $42.7 million a year in five years, the subsidiary gave three Japanese sporting goods wholesalers primary responsibility for marketing.
An exchange rate of ¥117=$1.00 was used in this report. aaaaaa