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09.04.2022
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BIRKENSTOCK Stands with the People of Ukraine

Misinformation of the Yale School of Management

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On April 9, 2022, it came to our attention that the Yale School of Management published a list of companies on their websites that allegedly “just keep doing business as usual in Russia”. On this list, BIRKENSTOCK was classified as “still operating in Russia”– without any reason.

Unfortunately, we were not contacted by the authors of the list prior to publication and did not have the opportunity to comment. This statement is to voice our concerns that the public and media were misled by incorrect information.

We hereby clarify: We made the business decision to end sales to Russia and terminated our contract with our distributor proactively as of December 31, 2021, hence before Russia’s attack on Ukraine.

Since then, our (former) distribution partner for this region has not received any products from us. We have also not held any talks with new potential distribution partners since then. Moreover, we neither directly provide Russian customers with our products, nor through our own web shop or in any other way and have never done so in the past.

Furthermore, we have never operated any facilities, sales organizations or own stores in Russia even before the beginning of the tragic situation in Ukraine. In addition, we do not have and never had any direct or indirect shareholdings in Russian companies. And we do not and never have sourced products, raw material or semi-finished goods produced in Russia.

As an orthopedic functional brand deeply rooted in science, we are a strong advocate of scientific research, free expression of opinion and independent journalism. While we share the concerns of the authors at the Yale School of Management about the humanitarian crisis in Ukraine, we cannot accept that, contrary to all facts, our company is accused of allegedly continuing to operate in Russia, deliberately deceiving millions of consumers and BIRKENSTOCK fans around the world, and thereby condoning significant damage to our reputation.

Birkenstock stands with the people of Ukraine.

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At our urging, the Yale School of Management promptly corrected the misstatement and removed BIRKENSTOCK from the list on April 10, 2022.

About BIRKENSTOCK

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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