All Star D.A.CH., the distributor and licensee of Converse in the German-speaking countries, posted extremely high growth in turnover for 2008, while not reaching the much high level posted by its Italian licensee. Sales in the region soared by around 60 percent to more than €70 million. According to the company’s managing director, Willy Umland, one reason for the success is a continued strategy of diversification, in the sense that the brand cannot rely on the still skyrocketing sales of Chuck Taylors. Instead, Converse has fought tough but apparently successful battles to move into skate-related shoes, as well as winter boots and children’s footwear. Currently, the German company offers four collections a year with 500 styles. In terms of distribution, the breakdown for Converse’s sales in Austria, Germany and Switzerland is 35 percent each for shoe and fashion retailers and 30 percent for sporting goods retailers. The licensed business for Converse-branded apparel has a share of less than 10 percent. Umland explains that the sales of apparel have doubled in the last year, but could not keep up with the speed of development in the footwear.