Birkenstock Nears Completion on New Shoe Factory in Germany – Sourcing Journal

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Birkenstock is getting close to completing its factory under construction in Pasewalk, Germany.

In August, the footwear company broke ground on the 120-million-euro ($127 million) project at the Berlin-Szczecin Industrial Park, located about an hour north of Berlin. As of Wednesdy, Birkenstock said that the shell construction of the 36,000-square-meter, approximately 387,500-square-feet, building complex is nearly complete. The company on Wednesday held a “topping-out” ceremony at the new location.

Birkenstock added in a statement that it plans to open the facility for production in the third quarter of 2023.

Before the end of March, Birkenstock added that it will open an information office in the city center of Pasewalk, which will serve as a contact point for those who are interested in a job at the plant. Ultimately, more than 1,000 positions will have to be filled in Pasewalk in order to meet production capacity, Birkenstock said.

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At Wednesday’s ceremony, Birkenstock Group chief technical operations officer Mark Jensen thanked all those involved that helped to keep the project on track despite inflation and supply bottlenecks.

“We are currently finishing the last groundworks and in the next few days we will start the interior fittings of the plant,” Jensen said. “In April we plan to get the installation of the first production machines underway. I am confident that we will be able to hold the first ‘Made in Pasewalk’ Birkenstock products in our hands in October at the latest, just as planned.”

In the next weeks and months, Birkenstock added that it is focused on the completion of several functional buildings, such as the employee office and the plant’s cafeteria, as well as installing and calibrating production machines.

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This is the latest milestone for the popular footwear brand, which has continued to invest in retail stores in the U.S. in recent years. In December, the brand opened its fourth company-owned store in the States within the Marin Country Mart in Larkspur, Calif. It joined Birkenstock’s other owned stores in Brooklyn and SoHo in New York City and in Venice Beach, Calif.

In November, Birkenstock’s Boston Clog topped Lyst’s Year in Fashion report. The annual report that analyzes data from its 200 million users found that the Boston Clog is the hottest shoe of the year, with searches increasing 593 percent in the first six months of 2022.

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The company was also honored late last year with the Collaboration of the Year award at the 36th annual FN Achievement Awards in New York City for its tie up with Manolo Blahnik.

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