Reporting on a new, profitable growth trend, Leder & Schuh, the Austrian parent company of the Humanic and Shoe4You retail chains, says that its sales went up by 3.6 percent to €374 million in the past financial year. In contrast, the group had reported a sales decline of 3.6 percent for 2016.

The figures doesn't include the sales of the group's Jello chain, which was dissolved in 2016. Adding them and those of other ancillary operations, Leder & Schuh still had a turnover of €413 million in 2016.

As a part of a major reorganization, Leder & Schuh had sold the Shoe4You stores it had in Germany to Kienast in 2015. It subsequently closed some of its Stiefelkönig stores and converted the others to its Humanic format.

The group, which is the leader in the Austrian shoe market, currently operates a total of 206 stores in nine European countries. In the past year, it made investments of about €10 million. The bulk went into the opening of seven new stores, the re-fitting of many others and the further development of its e-commerce operations, including the launch of a successful “Your Humanic Club.”