Clarks has decided to close another one of its British factories, while sourcing more in Asia. It’s now the turn of its Barnstaple factory in North Devonshire, which employs 107 people making women’s shoes with uppers imported from India. That leaves the group with only two plants in the UK – a children’s shoe factory at Ilminster that employs 120 people, using uppers from China, and the K Shoes facility at Millom, which makes children’s canvas shoes with a staff of 50 people and uppers coming from Romania.

Meanwhile, Clarks plans to finish by the end of March the shell of its modern new distribution center, which is part of a £30 million (e43m-$55m) investment intended to support the group’s growth over the next 10-15 years, while speeding up throughput and updating styles more quickly in its stores all over the UK. Located next to its existing warehouse in Street, which will be converted to housing, the new center is scheduled to come into operation in April of 2005.