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A Merrill-based shoe maker is seeing a big increase in demand, and workers are pushing overtime.
Weinbrenner Shoe Company employs more than 300 workers and they help pump out 1,800 pairs of shoes every day.That’s more than 200 pairs of work shoes each hour.
That’s split between the company’s Marshfield and Merrill locations. This holiday season, Weinbrenner leaders say they’re seeing a 20 percent increase in demand. That means more employees working overtime.
“It generates dollars for the company and generates money for the employees,” Weinbrenner President Pat Miner said.
Merrill Chamber of Commerce leaders say that means big bucks for the local economy.
“Puts more money in people’s pockets, which means they’re going to spend more money,” Merrill Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Debbe Kinsey said.
“It’s great to be able to put money back into the town that’s supported us for so long,” Miner said.
Weinbrenner officials say employees are working Saturday shifts for the next two weeks. Those shifts span six hours every Saturday.
“People have to give up some time with their family on Saturday. The good part is their checks are bigger,” Miner said.
But company leaders say it could continue if needed.
“We hope that this is not just a blimp for the holidays, that it’s a blimp for our footwear,” Miner said.
The company’s president says this is the first time in at least 10 years employees have worked overtime hours.
“Our overhead goes up, but hopefully our profits go up too at the same time, so it’s a win/win for everyone actually,” Miner said.
Weinbrenner leaders say that’s a silver lining in today’s economy.
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