Clarks Leaving After 5 Years

Clarks Office in 2016

 

by Chris Wangler

January 4, 2022

Image of the former Polaroid building
The company's Americas headquarters was built in the shell of a former Polaroid building.

Clarks, the historic English footwear brand and retailer, is moving its Americas HQ out of Waltham after only five years.

“Clarks is pleased to announce that its Americas HQ will be moving to new offices in Needham in 2022,” said a company spokesperson.

The spokesperson declined to elaborate on the reason for the move, which involves breaking a 15-year lease at 1265 Main.

Clarks partnered with Boston Properties on a $12 million renovation of a former Polaroid building at 60 Tower Road.

Pledging to expand globally, the company moved into the hip four-story HQ in 2016 after 18 years in Newton Lower Falls.

At the time, the nearly 200-year-old company was a worldwide leader in footwear, with more than 300 U.S. retail stores and deals to sell shoes in Macy’s and elsewhere.

But shoe retailing has moved further online during COVID as consumer tastes have shifted more toward athleisure.

Clarks stores around the world have closed; here in Massachusetts, mall stores are gone and only outlet stores remain.

In spring 2020, the company announced it would cut 900 office jobs worldwide by the end of 2021.

When the Waltham office opened, the workforce was more than 400. Four years later, it was roughly 325.

A rising 3D printing company based in Watertown, Markforged, plans to move into the Clarks building in fall 2022. Stay tuned for more details.

File photos

2016 Image of Clarks Ribbon Cutting
Ribbon cutting at the new Waltham HQ in October 2016. (Courtesy photo)