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Global demand continues to result in high growth for the traditional company. BIRKENSTOCK will initially expand capacities at the production site in Görlitz, its largest production site worldwide, and will additionally strengthen all production sites in Germany with a considerable investment program. Following the central chemical laboratory in Bernstadt, the St. Katharinen site has now put into operation its own physical laboratory in order to ensure the high-quality standards which the brand demands of its products.
The BIRKENSTOCK boom continues: the global demand for the popular premium-quality sandals from the German shoe manufacturer remains high. Despite restrictions on account of the pandemic and thanks to the expansion of the shift operation at all sites, production is running at full speed – close to maximum capacities. As a result, BIRKENSTOCK expands its production capacities at its largest production site worldwide in Görlitz and at the same time starts a considerable investment program for all German production sites.
There are ongoing plans for the Ebersbach Business Park in Görlitz to expand production operations to the building Am Gewerbering 6 which is adjacent to the current production site. This is also the home of the BIRKENSTOCK Factory Outlet. By the end of the year, the necessary infrastructure and additional production lines are expected to have been set up. It is furthermore planned to establish new office space for administrative employees. The expansion of the so-called PU and EVA production lines in the next months will furthermore result in an additional boost of production volumes. These investments at the sites alone amount to approximately 8 million euros.
“We have never before produced as many shoes as it is currently the case. We therefore believe that it’s the right time to set the course for even more growth with our investment program. The expansion of production capacities is not only a strong sign for our business partners but also an explicit and sustainable commitment to our German production sites”, explains Oliver Reichert, CEO of the BIRKENSTOCK Group.
“All in all, we will modernize and strengthen our production in Germany this year with an investment in the amount of an upper eight-figure euro sum. These investments in our production sites are also an investment in the future of the whole company", says Markus Bensberg, CEO BIRKENSTOCK Group.
But also the other production sites in Germany will benefit from the investment program: within the framework of considerable financial and organizational efforts, the infrastructure, machinery and production and office spaces will be modernized and expanded in order to adequately prepare the sites for the expected increase in volumes in the next years. In Sankt Katharinen this, for example, includes the taking into operation of two new production lines and one sole-coating plant. The investments also include the set-up of new production facilities for footbeds and the reconstruction of the canteen building in Steinau-Uerzell, Hesse, as well as the introduction of a new warehouse administration system which is currently under preparation at the logistics site in Vettelschoß, Rhineland-Palatinate.
Moreover, BIRKENSTOCK has put into operation in the past months two new internal testing laboratories in order to further enhance the already exceptionally high quality and safety of its products. The central chemical laboratory in Bernstadt, Saxony, analyzes all incoming materials for any possible harmful substances or contaminants before the materials are released for processing. The technical testing laboratory in Sankt Katharinen-Stroedt, Rhineland-Palatinate, is responsible for quality control during production as well as technical innovations. With an overall investment of 4.5 million euros, both laboratories were provided with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. By setting up and pooling internal know-how as regards quality control at the company’s own production sites, BIRKENSTOCK takes a special approach in the industry which almost exclusively relies on external laboratories when it comes to quality assurance.
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.