As previously reported, Gabor Shoes is introducing its first line of children’s footwear, becoming more of a universal brand with fewer production constraints. The men’s line is being broadened to include more casual styles. Like at Lloyds, increased outsourcing, product diversification and wider merchandising helped this German company to grow by 8.4 percent to €260.4 million in 2005 overall, with a 1.9 percent sales increase in the tough German market.

Sales of Gabor bags increased by 21 percent last year, contributing to a 23.7 percent increase to €7.3 million in revenues from licenses. The casual Camel Active brand raised its sales by 14.2 percent to over €43.2 million, including a 22 percent increase in Germany, which still represented more than 60 percent of sales. Initial orders for Spring/Summer 2006 are up by 22 percent, according to Shoez, and Gore-Tex linings are taking on a larger portion of the men’s collection for Fall/Winter 2006/07.

The core Gabor brand recorded a sales increase of 6.8 percent last year to €209.8 million. Orders are up by 6 percent globally, and by 11 percent from outside Germany. More business is flowing in from Eastern Europe and from distant markets in the Asia/Pacific region, indicating that the foreign sales ratio may soon reach 60 percent.

Gabor recently opened its 300th concept shop in partnership with independent retailers. This number comprises both free-standing stores and shop-in-shops. The brand claims an average of €5,000 in sales per square meter in these locations, compared with an industry average of €3,120. Annual inventory turns are given as 2.8 per year against 1.8.