Deichmann SE in Essen is Germany’s and at the same time Europe’s largest shoe retailer with a turnover of 5.8 billion euros (2019). The company has more than 4,200 branches – over 1,400 of them in Germany – and employs almost 43,000 people. Around 40 percent of sales are generated on the German domestic market, the rest in 26 other European countries, in the USA, in China and in Dubai. In Switzerland, the shoe retailer operates under the name Dosenbach, in the Netherlands under van Haren. In 2019 the US shoe chain KicksUSA was taken over. More than 180 million shoes are sold every year. The company operates exclusively as a retailer and buys its shoes from third-party companies – preferably from Asia. This article is based on the unique List of the 400 largest German trading companies.
- Excel list of the 400 largest retail and wholesale companies in Germany
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From a shoe workshop in Essen to the international shoe trade
The Deichmann story began in 1913 with a shoe repair shop in the Borbeck district of Essen. After the First World War, company founder Heinrich Deichmann started selling shoes. But the rise to a shoe chain did not begin until after the Second World War. In 1963 the company had 13 shops in the Ruhr area. After that the nationwide expansion started and from the 1970s on the internationalisation. In 1973 the Swiss shoe chain Dosenbach was taken over. Several other takeovers were to follow. In 2000 Deichmann was one of the first shoe suppliers to open an online shop. There are now 40 Deichmann online shops.