Birkenstock: the sandal manufacturer makes its debut on the New York Stock Exchange this Wednesday

Far from the outdatedness of the beginnings, the German sandal giant Birkenstock will debut this Wednesday on the New York Stock Exchange. The cork sandals brand enters the market with a valuation of $8.6 billion which devotes his success in fashion. Birkenstock set the unit price of the stock at $46 on Tuesday, according to several American media, or in the middle of the initial range, between $44 and $49.

The context is favorable for the company, which in 2021 entered the fold of the world leader in luxury LVMH (also owner of Parisien – Today in France). Strapless sandals appeared on Barbie’s feet, in a candy pink version, in the eponymous blockbuster which hit the screens all summer. As for the IPO market, weighed down for more than a year and a half by the tightening of credit conditions, it is regaining color.

A shift in luxury in recent years

By engaging in collaborations with fashion houses like Dior, Givenchy and Céline, the company has already largely begun a shift into luxury in recent years. It has thus become a fashionable brand at the beach, in the evening or on the catwalks. The company began by marketing soles, before launching into sandals in 1963. First orthopedic, then hippie and finally trendy, the German barefoot has seen all colors. Birkenstock underwent a significant change when the family brought in external management in 2013.

It was the transition “from a family business focused on production to a professionally managed global player,” recalls an analysis by CMC Markets. Sales grew at an average rate of 20% over the following years, according to CMC Markets.

A market established in India, Thailand, Mexico…

“Birkenstock now wants to develop its iconic status to target the growing luxury market around the world,” underlines Fernando Fastoso, professor of luxury brand management at the German University of Pforzheim. Beyond Europe and the United States where Birkenstock is well established, China, India, Mexico and Thailand are promising markets.

But transforming a German family business into a public company listed on Wall Street is not without risk. In the lifestyle and fashion market, “competition is intense, both with established companies and with new players” in a context where consumer budgets are strained by inflation, notes CMC Markets.

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