New Balance breaks silence following skip full of trainers found in Shap

There was backlash from the local community with the shoes littered over the pavement. Credit: Kerryanne Wilde

New Balance has broken its silence after hundreds of trainers littered the streets of Shap following the closure of the store in the village.

The store unexpectedly shut for business recently with products having been made at the company’s UK factory in Flimby.

Shoes though were scattered across the pavement after the footwear was dumped in a skip outside of the store.

A US-based spokesman for New Balance said: “A general contractor doing work on-site had cleared old stock items from our store, including single shoes that could not be paired, damaged product and samples.

"While efforts were made to recycle or donate as many items as possible, we are currently re-evaluating our procedures to ensure the utmost rigour is applied when determining what can be appropriately recycled or donated.”

The store has not opened since Christmas and local residents are fearing that the shop is now shut for good.

“I would say 80-90 per cent of the village population have used it at one point of their lives,” said Kerryanne Wilde, a resident for 18 years. “My youngest son, Bailey, had leg splints due to cerebral palsy.

"We couldn’t get trainers to fit him anywhere else but they would put extra Velcro on for him so he could wear the same as his peers and not be any different.

“A lot of people plan their journeys when they are going up north or down south on going to Shap because they always visit the shop. It is a hub for the village. It brings visitors and money to other local businesses — like the coffee and charity shops, pubs and fish and chip shop.”

Reports of people going through the skip looking to find a pair of trainers has led to the mess of trainers on the pavement.

Ms Wilde said: "People have been in and out of the skip since Friday. If they are not pairs then that’s fine. But why couldn’t they maybe have gone to charity like the Salvation Army, or those supporting people who have lost limbs at home or abroad rather than throwing perfectly good shoes away?”

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