The Swiss shoe retailer has decided to concentrate on its 300-odd stores in the domestic market, following an agreement to sell its 70 stores in Austria to a Berlin-based investment company, Lafayette Industrieholding, with retroactive effect from Jan. 1, 2015.
The Karl Vögele group has been selling shoes in the two markets under three distinct banners, Vögele Shoes, Bingo Shoe Discount and Max Shoes, but the Austrian stores will be renamed. The company's Swiss retail network comprises 198 Vögele Shoes stores, 83 lower-priced Bingo units and 11 youth-oriented Max outlets.
In Switzerland, Karl Vögele wants to reposition its retail banners, focusing on Vögele Shoes and Bing Shoe Discount and running Max Shoes as a private label in Vögele Shoes stores. The stores will be given a new look. The company will develop a marketing campaign including TV spots, and it will build up its existing e-commerce operations.
The new program will be led by Adrian Grossholz, the company's chief commercial officer, who will become the new chief executive on Jan. 1, 2016. Max Manuel Vögele, will stop acting as CEO to concentrate on his role as chairman, with a focus on strategy.
Based in Uznach, the family-owned company started as a shoe manufacturer on 1922. It moved into mail order in 1955 and opened its first store in 1956. It moved into Austria in 1974.