NEWINGTON - A work shoe-mobile may be coming to a location near you.
Industrial Protection Products, Inc. (IPP) has opened its second showroom and first one in Connecticut at 3310 Berlin Turnpike, Newington.
The Wilmington, Mass.-based company specializes in safety footwear and prescription safety eyewear. While the showroom offers a retail experience, eight “shoe-mobiles” distribute products to companies across New England.
Workers who are on their feet much of the day value quality footwear. IPP has 400-plus corporate accounts, including Whole Foods, Corbin & Russwin, Eversource and Pratt & Whitney. Companies often supply their employees with one new pair of work shoes each year.
“Our mobile shoe stores go on site a couple times a week so employees can leave the workplace and get new shoes,” company President Rick Murphy explained. “We are thrilled with our new central location. It’s convenient for us to service our customer base and allows us to expand our presence in Connecticut.”
Newington Economic Development Director Andy Brecher worked with IPP to secure the 3,500 square foot facility, located off of the intersection of Budney Road.
“IPP is one of those wonderful, family-owned businesses that is a perfect fit for Newington,” Brecher said. “The Berlin Turnpike is an ideal location for them, strategically close to many of their key customers, with an affordable rent. And Newington’s citizens now have a source for stylish safety shoes and eyewear right within town, which is particularly helpful for so many of our citizens who work in manufacturing, food service and health care.”
When IPP was founded in 1977, there were far fewer brands of shoe and eyewear designed for working individuals. At that time, the company mainly served manual laborers.
“The customer base has changed a lot since then and the product base has diversified to meet those needs,” Murphy pointed out.
Now everyone from restaurant chefs to hospital doctors require shoes with special features, like slip-resistance, anti-static capability and steel toes. The best selling shoe at IPP is Timberland’s Pro Power Train.
“The value of safety in many different industries has grown,” Vice President of Business Development Vincent Cicerchia said. “Popular shoe brands that didn’t used to be in the safety business have gotten involved. The white collar worker is also now part of the safety program.”
IPP carries over 60 styles of safety footwear by Florsheim, Skechers, Reebok, Keen and other brands. An equally extensive collection of impact-resistant, anti-fog eyewear is fitted by licensed opticians.
“One of the things we pride ourselves on is customer service,” Cicerchia said. “That’s our main focus.”
The company opened Feb. 11 and recently joined the Newington Chamber of Commerce. Staff are planning an official ribbon-cutting ceremony sometime early spring.
The store is open Monday to Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Thursday until 7 p.m.
Erica Drzewiecki can be reached at 860-801-5097 or email@example.com.