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BIRKENSTOCK switching to direct sales in Switzerland

Plans for own retail presence and partner-based retail space concepts emphasize the company’s ambitions in this market // Direct market presence promises further growth for retail partners and the company


After 30 years of BIRKENSTOCK being represented in Switzerland by Frey Orthopädie-Bedarf AG as its distributor there, the company has now decided to assume direct responsibility for sales within this market as of December 1, 2019, for strategic reasons. This direct market presence will allow the portfolio to be significantly expanded for retail partners and end customers in Switzerland, thus making BIRKENSTOCK even more accessible as a multifaceted, year-round, premium lifestyle brand. At the same time, greater alignment of the product portfolio with the local market needs will result in additional growth opportunities both for the company and its retail partners in Switzerland.

“We would very much like to thank Frey Orthopädie-Bedarf AG for our exceptionally good and successful collaboration over the past decades. Even during hard times, they represented us as a first-class distributor. However, BIRKENSTOCK has decided to start a new chapter by handling its sales directly in order to further intensify our relations with our retail partners at the local level and to further embed the brand’s entire range in Switzerland. At the same time, we intend to give our growth ambitions in the market a boost very soon with our own retail presence there as well as partner-based retail space concepts in the country’s main conurbations,” says Michael Schmitz, Managing Director, Europe, at BIRKENSTOCK.

This will not result in any changes for our retail partners during the current ordering season. Preorders for the spring/summer 2020 season can continue to be placed with Frey Orthopädie-Bedarf AG and will also be delivered by them. BIRKENSTOCK will not assume complete control of preorders and order deliveries until the fall/winter 2020 season.

Resellers can therefore continue to contact Frey Orthopädie-Bedarf AG to clarify any specific issues relating to current orders at:

Frey Orthopädie-Bedarf AG

Panoramaweg 35

5504 Othmarsingen (Switzerland)

Phone: +41-62-887-4500

At BIRKENSTOCK, Swiss resellers can contact Raphael Grimm, Country Manager, Switzerland, from December 1, 2019. Footwear reseller appointments can be arranged using these contact details:


Cell phone: +41-794-052-610


BIRKENSTOCK is a global lifestyle brand with a heritage in iconic footwear, rooted in the creation of the BIRKENSTOCK footbed that can be traced as far as 1774. The notion of quality and function guides the brand in all its actions and across 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 more than 4,300 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. Manufactured in Germany, the sandals are now 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. The company is headquartered in Neustadt (Wied). BIRKENSTOCK has 13 sites in Germany, in the states of North Rhine-Westphalia, Rhineland-Palatinate, Hesse, Bavaria, and Saxony. The long-standing family-owned enterprise also operates its own sales offices in the United States and Canada as well as in Brazil, China, Hong Kong, Japan, Denmark, Spain, the United Kingdom and Dubai.

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