Rockport Group Opens Headquarters in West Newton
Things Boston is known for: athletes, students, history…and inevitably, shoes. The Rockport Group is the latest footwear company to open their headquarters closer to Boston. Now located in West Newton, less than ten miles from downtown, they join Converse and New Balance in calling the area home.
President and CEO Bob Infantino says of the move from Canton, “We are excited to call Newton the home of the Rockport Group’s new global headquarters. We were founded in Massachusetts in 1971 and are proud to continue our legacy in the Greater Boston area.”
The new space, an unassuming brick building in the center of town, is a far cry from the company’s previous location in a suburban office park. Boston-based Baker Design Group worked to design an atmosphere inspired by the brand’s New England heritage, and the result is simultaneously open and cozy, rustic and modern. Wood, brick, and leather prevail throughout the 70,000 square feet, and the lobby features animal hides and a grand fireplace. Communal spaces with funky plush chairs and small rounded tables are dotted amongst workspaces. There are even a couple of rooms with only an armchair and industrial accordion lamp whose sole purpose is to provide employees with an opportunity for a moment of privacy.
The overall vibe is more reminiscent of a woodsy lodge than a corporate workspace, and totally in line with Rockport’s recent rebranding campaign “Made for Movers,” which came after the company left the Adidas group a little over a year ago. Here is a company filled with dog moms, travelers, and athletes, as just a couple of the 215 employees’ name placards will tell you.
The company seems dedicated to building an environment that’s attractive to its employees beyond the office walls. Plans are in the works to build a deck, complete with a grill, and to host events. The large kitchen space will soon see a revolving door of local eateries to cater lunch, and bikes will be available for running quick errands or getting a breath of fresh air. Making the daily grind seem more appealing is smart, not only to ensure happy employees, but also to tempt future talent.
Because as our town becomes a shoe town, the race for talent gets tighter—Reebok will also have a Boston zip code in the not-so-distant future.