Birkenstock files for listing on NY Stock Exchange
The German sandal manufacturer Birkenstock is planning an IPO on the New York Stock Exchange. The high-turnover company based in Linz am Rhein filed an application to the US Securities and Exchange Commission last week. Commentators examine the company’s success and prospects.
Keeping pace with the times
The Irish Times explains why Birkenstock has been able to expand so much beyond Germany in recent years:
“If there’s something in the idea that our behaviour and buying habits are reliable benchmarks of our mood, the Birkenstock index points to a troubled society. Surrounded by uncertainty, many of us seem to have the impulse to dress like off-duty healthcare workers. ... During a time of war, pandemic, financial uncertainty, a housing crisis, fake news, a strengthening far-right, Instagram filters and AI, a shoe brand that pins itself to values like ‘realness’ and ‘authenticity’ is on to a winner.”
Rapid expansion could be counterproductive
Writing in the Financial Times, columnist John Gapper warns against overambitious global growth goals:
“If a Birkenstock sandal can be made anywhere, there is nothing to stop the company chasing growth until its brand falls out of vogue again. Then a downturn, then a restructuring under another chief executive, then a revival, and so on. My advice is to save itself the trouble. The average US customer has 3.6 pairs of Birkenstocks and I own more than that myself, so it must have been doing something right since 1963. Why not carry on doing it?”