Betula, the festive beach footwear brand of the Birkenstock group (see previous story), is coming up with some interesting brand and product extensions at both ends of the market, particularly in the USA, which is the biggest one for the brand. On the one hand it is pushing hard to expand in the American mass market, while at the same time striking some interesting co-branding agreements in various countries.

The brand has completed the development of its first beach thongs entirely made of EVA, and is placing them in low-brow mega-stores such as Wal-Mart. Moving slightly upstream to Payless ShoeSource, Betula is expanding the range of styles sold through that big discount retail chain.

Meanwhile, a couple of well-known designers have agreed to put their names on Betula sandals in certain parts of the world. At his own initiative, Calvin Klein has designed a “cK for Betula” sandal for the market in Singapore. In Japan, Betula co-branded another style with Tommy Hilfiger as part of his “Tommy Girl” collection. These products have sold successfully, and the partners are staying in contact to possibly repeat the experiences.

Meanwhile, Betula continues to work together with Tony Little, an American fitness trainer, for its “Cheeks” sandals in the USA and Canada. Betula also continues to partner with Swarovski, the well-known crystal manufacturer, to sell its crystal-studded sandals in the USA and Japan.