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May 17, 2021

Birkenstock is Over!

Birkenstock sells out. {Get your Birkenstocks now, and locally, not online. Here’s why). 

Arnault said his investment would help the sandal maker “fully realise its significant growth potential”

Birkenstock, a family-owned German shoe company that goes back 275 years—how many generations is that?—has been acquired by a venture capitol fund. That means one thing: a focus on growth, new markets, new designs…not quality.

Moral of the story: get your Birkenstocks now. Locally, not online, as you’ll want the stuff that’s already been shipping out and received. Quality will likely go downhill, as happens with nearly all indies who get bought up by those who focus on profits, not integrity.

Two tips: they’re great for walking around, but they’re also great for standing desk/home office work, so consider assigning one to indoors only. Also: avoid the newer “soft sole” versions with memory foam crap in ’em. Get the old fashioned ones that mold to your feet–they’re harder but will mold faster, and they’re more eco.

I just went out and bought three pairs, myself—hopefully enough for a good part of this lifetime. One pair was for my fiancee, Michelle, her first ever.

So, sad to say—and I hope I’m wrong, but…Birkenstock is Over!

Birkenstock, is selling a majority stake to the American-French private equity firm L Catterton and an affiliated firm, Financière Agache, Bernard Arnault’s family investment company.

Financial terms were not disclosed. For weeks, Birkenstock had been in exclusive talks with L Catterton, and the deal was said to value the firm at 4 billion euros, or about $4.8 billion. 

The two remaining relatives of the founder of the company, Christian and Alex Birkenstock, said they entered “this strategic partnership after carefully examining all options.”

They said the sale would “further strong growth in future growth markets such as China and India” and that the new partners would invest in German sites and expand production, logistics and sales operations…read the rest, here.

 

Of course, a large company can be a quality company, but craftsmanship/quality goes down when backed/pushed by venture capitol–see Filson, and too-many-to-count other examples. It’s a time to cut corners, push out new designs to try to capitalize on trends, not maintain or better the timeless quality they’re known for.

They have long been a large, profitable, successful company, but they’ve been tent-pegged—grounded—in tradition, quality materials, worksmanship, mission. Read up on their plans, now—none of them are about quality, all are about trends and profits and expansion to China.

Updates: don’t buy the plastic-lining-in-sole soft Birks–they’re new and awful for our environment, don’t mold to your feet, transform Birk into more waste instead of natural materials, typical of a rapidly-expanding “brand” that’s lost sight of its mission.

Here’s the awful new plastic memory foam crap lining Birk is hiding in its new “soft” Birks. Ew:

 

Buy the traditional hard sole Birks, they’ll mold to your feet and are more eco.

Buy Haflingers. They’re the new (old) Birkenstock. I’m into ’em.

And as always—buy local, or bye-bye local.

 

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