Lloyd Shoes is doing better, thanks in part to the diversification of its product line, to its growing internationalization and to the shift of a large part of its production from Germany and Malta to the Romanian manufacturing facilities of its parent company, the German Ara Shoes group. Lloyd generated 5 percent higher revenues of €85 million with the delivery of 1.65 million pairs under the Lloyd and Lloyd Excellent brands. About 32 percent of the turnover came from outside Germany and the management wants to raise it to 50 percent.

Sales growth was driven by an expanding women’s line, which now represents about 10 percent of revenues. Sales of men’s shoes were stable, but they are expected to go up again in 2006 following the successful introduction of the first line of “luxury sneakers.” Marketed under the Lloyd Sports label, this new embryonic line got a fashion innovation award at the last GDS fair in Düsseldorf, where the company also showed for the first time some models of elegant tongs, selling at prices just below those of Hugo Boss, and a new line of washable boat shoes. Contrasting with the generally formal image of Lloyd, line extensions were the fruit of Lloyd’s team of about 20 designers, many of whom are young, and of the increased flexibility of its manufacturing processes.

Clever merchandising is helping Lloyd to do more business abroad. The newest Lloyd concept shops in Copenhagen and Palma de Mallorca feature a new concept, which is also being adopted in Germany, where the different parts of its collection are clearly segmented by different modules. The concept is going to be presented at the next GDS fair in Düsseldorf.

Lloyd is in discussion for 3-4 other new stores in France, Holland and Norway. A second store will soon be opened in Moscow. The German brand of men’s footwear is also opening many new stores in Asia. It has entered the Indian market through a local retailer, Tata, opening shop in Delhi and Mumbai. In China, the 7th Lloyd franchise has just started up in Beijing.

The company became profitable again in 2004, after a large part of the production was moved to the group’s factories in Romania from the German factory in Sulingen, which now employs only 150 production workers. Another factory in Malta, which still has about 150 employees, will soon be closed. Lloyd recently obtained ISO 9001:2000 certification for the quality of its process-oriented management systems.

Company executives have indicated that the more affordable Lord Excellent line, which is produced in Romania, benefited only in part from the disappearance of the Gallus brand from the German market. Gallus is now the property of Deichmann.