At the turn of the month there is a change of strategy at Birkenstock. Then the company will take over direct sales in Switzerland.

For the past 30 years, Frey Orthopädie-Bedarf AG has represented Birkenstock in Switzerland as a distributor. Germany’s largest shoe manufacturer has now decided to market its products in the neighbouring country itself from 1 December. This step is intended to significantly expand the product range for Swiss trade partners and end customers.

According to Michael Schmitz, Managing Director Europe at Birkenstock, the company has decided “to ring in a new chapter with direct sales in order to deepen relations with our local trading partners even further and to anchor the complete range of the brand even more firmly in Switzerland. At the same time, we would like to underline our growth ambitions in this market with our own retail presence and partner-operated space concepts in the country’s most important conurbations.”

Birkenstock with new stores in Vienna, London and the USA

Birkenstock has shown how these ambitions can look this year in international business. In October, a new brand store opened in Vienna right next to the Hotel Sacher. With this, the company intends to expand its presence in the Austrian capital. In the United States, there has been a second company-owned store for several months. With the new Californian branch in Venice Beach, Birkenstock is now also represented on the famous mile of Venice, the Abbot Kinney Boulevard. Oliver Reichert, CEO of Birkenstock: “Being present here is not only an enrichment for our brand, but will also create a certain visibility for all the innovations in our collection with an enlightened, highly influential group of customers”.

Two new stores were opened in London during the summer. In addition to the Westfield Shopping Center, the products can now also be purchased on the legendary Carnaby Street shopping mile in the trendy Soho district.

Cooperation with well-known designers

Birkenstock is also underpinning its position as an international lifestyle brand with further measures. At the beginning of the year, two sandals were presented that were created in collaboration with Valentino. Birkenstock also attracted attention with pop-up stores in Paris, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Beijing and Chengdu. They accompanied the market launch of the Rick Owens collection. There is also a cooperation with the New York fashion brand Proenza Schouler. In December, a collection created in collaboration with Random Identities will be available from selected retailers in various countries.

Birkenstock has 4,300 employees around the world. The shoes are produced in Germany and sold in over 100 countries. According to the Handelsblatt, 90 percent of the shoes are sold abroad. According to the medium, the company achieved a turnover of 800 million euros in 2018. Since 2017, the Birkenstock portfolio has included sleep systems and natural cosmetics in addition to the well-known shoes.


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Link: Birkenstock terminates its partnership with its Swiss distributor and will distribute its goods there itself in the future.

Picture: Company