Linz am Rhein, Rhineland-Palatinate / Pasewalk, Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania, August 17, 2022 - In the week after Easter, the construction work for the lighthouse project finally commenced. Today, three and a half months later, the next construction phase was kicked off with a small groundbreaking ceremony. Taking center stage: the BIRKENSTOCK teams managing the numerous sub-projects of the 110 million euro investment project – represented by the sub-project managers. Reinhard Meyer, Minister for Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labor, extended his warmest wishes on behalf of the state government.
The economic framework conditions have changed considerably since the start of construction. However, this does not cause BIRKENSTOCK's lighthouse project to sway – even if the latest developments on the raw materials markets and the significantly more complex site concept compared to the initial plans have led to a significant increase of the investment amount. As a result, investments totaled around EUR 110 million, more than a third higher than originally planned. This makes the construction of the new site by far the largest individual investment in the company’s history.
Mark Jensen, Chief Technical Operations Officer (CTOO) of the BIRKENSTOCK Group, said at the groundbreaking ceremony: “When we started planning our new plant just under a year and a half ago, the world was a different place. I am therefore all the more grateful to our teams that the project is still on schedule despite inflation, turmoil on the raw materials markets and supply bottlenecks in the construction sector. This is also true for our future staff: we already have 50 employment contracts signed, sealed and delivered. The people in the region are showing huge interest; we’re currently reviewing 500 applications – and production will only start in a year from now! For us, this is a sign that we have made the right location decision and proof of the strength of our organization to implement activities even in turbulent times.”
Reinhard Meyer, Minister for Economy, Infrastructure, Tourism and Labor, said in his statement: “The fact that BIRKENSTOCK is moving to our region sends an important message to everyone here – that sustainable jobs are being created that add value to our region. The company's investment shows that the efforts promoting Western Pomerania as an industrial hub are paying off. We look forward to welcoming BIRKENSTOCK to our region.”
Production to start in the third quarter of 2023
In the medium term, around 1,000 new jobs will be created in the new production site in the Berlin-Szczecin industrial park. This would immediately make BIRKENSTOCK one of the largest private employers in the region between the metropolises of Berlin and Szczecin. BIRKENSTOCK intends to stick to the tight schedule: as things stand, production at the new plant will start at the beginning of the third quarter of 2023. Naturally, there was no time for big festivities. But one thing is for sure: the topping-out ceremony will most likely be celebrated on a grander scale. Because then, in December 2022, it will be half-time.
BIRKENSTOCK is a global lifestyle brand with a universal, inclusive relevance that embraces all consumers regardless of age, social background, ethnic origin and/or gender. BIRKENSTOCK is the inventor of the footbed and is committed to a clear purpose: foot health. The company's shoemaking tradition can be traced back to 1774. Deeply rooted in orthopedics, the brand stands for superior functionality, the commitment to craftsmanship, uncompromising quality and the promise of an ultimate product experience. Boundless well-being - the brand transfers this concept to shoes, sleep systems and natural cosmetics.
With 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, Sweden, Spain, the United Kingdom, France, Norway, Dubai and India.