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BIRKENSTOCK continues to boost the quality of its distribution network

Clear commitment to German shoe retailers / Wholesale remains a key pillar in the sales strategy



In its sales strategy, BIRKENSTOCK now focuses even more on the wishes and needs of its customers. This is why the global footwear and lifestyle brand is continuing its mission to boost the quality of its distribution network that began in 2016 and is developing it further with the aim of becoming even more consumer-focused. In doing so, BIRKENSTOCK also takes into account the changed shopping behavior of consumers, who nowadays expect improved curation efforts from brands in retail stores, as well as an authentic brand, product and service experience.

With this goal in mind, BIRKENSTOCK carefully analyzed its current distribution structures. BIRKENSTOCK mostly focused on the quality of the of brand presentation at the POS, the brand environment, the quality of service and advice, and also the willingness to support new strategic product initiatives. As a result, the supply agreements with around half of the wholesale partners will be discontinued. This primarily affects inactive retailers who have not placed any orders in the past two years or have only ordered very small quantities, as well as retailers who no longer meet our minimum standards for brand presentation.

With around 2,000 retail partners, BIRKENSTOCK will continue to be widely represented in Germany. As regards sneakers, outdoor footwear and kids’ models, BIRKENSTOCK is currently approaching new distribution partners. For BIRKENSTOCK, the wholesale channel is and will remain a key pillar of its sales strategy, and one that is on an equal footing with the direct-to-consumer channel.

Already in June 2016, BIRKENSTOCK launched an initiative to boost the quality of its distribution and adapted the marketing of its products worldwide to the respective market conditions in order to ensure a uniform brand representation worldwide. Key aspects of the initiative were the restructuring of purchasing conditions and the introduction of recommended retail prices in all markets. These measures were accompanied by substantial investments in the global brand presence and the fight against brand piracy.


BIRKENSTOCK is a global lifestyle brand with a heritage in iconic footwear, rooted in the creation of the BIRKENSTOCK footbed. The brand that can be traced as far as 1774 is guided by the notion of quality and function in all its actions and across all categories. The concept of all-round wellbeing is developed into footwear, sleeping systems and natural cosmetics, increasingly translating the lifestyle vision of the brand heritage.

With around 5,500 employees worldwide, this traditional, sixth-generation family-run business is also one of the German footwear industry’s biggest employers. BIRKENSTOCK was already using the term “footbed” in the 1910s, giving it the meaning which is commonly understood by consumers all over the world to this day – as a synonym for outstanding comfort when walking and standing. By the early 1970s, BIRKENSTOCK had become a global player. Since 2021, the company is majority owned by L Catterton, the world's largest growth investor focused on the consumer goods industry, and Financière Agache, a holding company controlled by Agache, the holding company of the Arnault family.

Manufactured in Germany, the sandals are sold in more than 100 countries on all continents. BIRKENSTOCK also has a growing range of closed shoes, children’s shoes, and occupational footwear, as well as specialist products for orthopedic retailers, socks, bags, and belts. In 2017, BIRKENSTOCK added sleep systems and natural cosmetics (BIRKENSTOCK NATURAL SKIN CARE) to its portfolio of products. BIRKENSTOCK has 16 sites in Germany, in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria, and Saxony. The long-standing enterprise also operates its own sales offices in the United States and Canada as well as in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Denmark, Poland, Switzerland, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Dubai and India.

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