Why It Matters: A start-up with deep roots in Germany
In a letter submitted with the providing utility, Oliver Reichert, the corporate’s chief govt, drew a hyperlink between Birkenstock’s founding in 1774 to its present-day aspirations.
“We see ourselves as the oldest start-up on earth,” Mr. Reichert stated. “We are a brand backed by a family tradition of a quarter of a millennium with the resilience, timeless relevance and credibility of a multigenerational business.”
From its beginnings as a shoemaker to the event of its distinctive orthopedic arch assist within the early twentieth century, the footwear model has risen to change into a vogue icon, showing on the catwalks of New York and Milan. And on this summer time’s blockbuster film, “Barbie,” Birkenstocks are the down-to-earth different that Barbie is pressured to just accept over her jeweled stilettoes.
In latest years, the model has launched its sandals made with non-animal supplies and a dizzying array of types and colours. Collaborations with distinguished shoe designers, together with Christian Dior, Manolo Blahnik, Stüssy and Valentino Garavani, have helped to generate buzz and create demand in vogue circles.
The firm’s gross sales elevated to €1.24 billion in 2022 from €292 million in 2014, in keeping with the submitting.
Background: A shoe not only for hippies
The footwear had been launched to Americans by a German lady who found them on a visit house to Germany within the Nineteen Sixties, crammed her suitcase with the footwear and tried to influence U.S. retailers to market them. Traditional shoe shops rejected them, however they discovered a market in well being meals shops, the place they had been embraced by younger individuals looking for another life-style.
Today, the U.S. market accounts for greater than half of Birkenstock’s gross sales, with a community distributors and a rising on-line retailer that reaches prospects straight in additional than 75 international locations.
Birkenstock’s most simple two-strap types, constructed from a extra environmentally pleasant, softer plastic, promote for about $40, whereas probably the most unique designer fashions can fetch as much as $1,600. But the guts of the product stays its versatile, contoured foot mattress, produced in Germany.
Women, who entered the work drive in massive numbers within the Nineteen Eighties, are among the many most loyal prospects embracing the practicality and luxury provided by Birkenstocks, and make up 72 % of the corporate’s prospects. But the footwear’ enchantment reaches throughout generations, making them as widespread with millennials as they’re with the boomer era.
Potential Risks: The trick of taking custom public
Birkenstock’s assertion stated the corporate would face quite a few dangers in going public. Among them are the risks posed by counterfeit merchandise, it stated, together with the “intense competition” from established corporations and newcomers within the shoe market.
But with Birkenstock’s profile deeply rooted in its fame as an organization from a small city in Germany, and as a part of a counterculture uniform, even the choice to go public may price it prospects. “The transition from a historically family-owned German company to a publicly held company listed on a U.S. stock exchange may negatively impact our reputation,” the assertion stated.