"Invention Factory" Creator Purchases GoLite Footwear

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Design Visionary Doug Clark Takes Reigns from Timberland; Launches "New England Footwear".

GoLite Footwear is off and running … literally. Little more than a month after announcing plans to close down operations, Doug Clark, original visionary of GoLite Footwear, has purchased the footwear business.

Clark, the man responsible for the creation of both Timberland's renowned "Invention Factory" (an autonomous advanced-design and development team within Timberland) and the very technology that is the basis of GoLite Footwear, will now lead GoLite into its next phase of growth as CEO of the newly formed New England Footwear.

"My heart and passion is in invention and innovation, and rethinking everything we thought we once knew about creating footwear," said Clark. "Our first goal is to bring GoLite Footwear to it's full potential as a true outdoor athletic brand."

Jeff Swartz, President and CEO of Timberland, said, "I am glad that Doug will have the opportunity to continue to grow GoLite Footwear from its inception here in the Invention Factory."

Located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, New England Footwear's mission is to bring real solutions to problems facing consumers through "clean slate" design, development and manufacturing. The company will use much the same process and thinking that Clark employed to create the "soft against the ground" technology platform for GoLite entire line.

According to Clark, the company will quickly move beyond trail running shoes, and introduce a full line of trail shoes at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market, all based on the GoLite platform. The result will be the industry's first line of hikers, trekkers and fast packing shoes that provide full-body stability, ultimate protection and traction with 1/3 the weight of conventional shoes.

In addition, GoLite's molding technology will allow Clark to offer superior performance at lower price points, with most models in the $85 to $120 range.

"We intend to make GoLite footwear an easy choice for a wide range of consumers, and in the process bring the excitement back to the hiking category," said Clark.

Several footwear industry veterans will join Clark. Tom Montgomery, formerly of StrideRite. Kenneth Cole and Timberland, will handle all sourcing. Matt King, a 13-year veteran of Peregrine Outfitters, will head the national sales effort; and Steve Opie, who has worked with such respected brands as StrideRite, Converse and Nike, will provide his direction as a visionary designer.

For more information GoLite Footwear, visit http://www.golite-footwear.com.

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Tess Morton

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