CCC, the large Polish shoe manufacturing and retail group, is going to open its first store in Austria next month. Located at Donau City on the fringes of Vienna, it will be followed by others in downtown Vienna and at Simmering as part of a plan to open 100 doors in the country. The project is steered by a subsidiary of CCC established earlier this year in Graz and run by Gerald Zimmermann.

The Polish group is also planning to open its first stores in Slovenia, Croatia and Turkey in the course of this year. It has already started to set up subsidiaries in all these countries. Deliveries will be made from a large state-of-the-art distribution center of 23,000 square meters opened in 2009 in a special economic zone in Poland.

CCC already entered the Hungarian and Slovak markets in 2012, ending the year with 15 and 12 operated shops in those countries, respectively. After entering the Russian market in 2011, CCC also opened its first CCC stores in Romania, Latvia, Ukraine and Kazakhstan through franchise partners. It had a total of 15 franchised stores outside Poland at the end of 2012.

At the same time, the company opened ten new stores in the Czech Republic, raising the local door count to 62 units, and continued to expand the network of CCC stores in Poland to 375 locations.

Last August, CCC's management laid out a new business plan that calls for a doubling in turnover and an 80 percent increase in retail space by 2015, turning the company into the market leader in shoe retailing in each Central European country.

Founded in the early 1990s by its current president, Dariusz Milek, who is considered to be one of the richest men in Poland, the company was called for a while NG2. It now operates more than 700 stores in its own market and the rest of Central Europe, directly or on a franchised basis. They trade under two main banners – CCC and Lasocki – and two other more upscale formats, Boti and Quazi. CCC also manufactures some 5,000 pairs of shoes at various plants in Poland, but the majority of the 20 million pairs shoes sold in the past year came from Asian suppliers.

The company, which is quoted on the Warsaw stock exchange since 2004, made a net profit last year of 106,314,000 zloty (€25.0m-$33.2m), compared with a profit of PLN122,698 in 2011, on a 20.7 percent increase in consolidated revenues to 1,317,457,000 zloty (€310.0m-$412.0m). Unfavorable exchange rates were responsible for the decline in profitability.

In the first quarter of 2013, CCC recorded a net loss of PLN39.7 million (€9.3m-$12.4m), compared with a small profit in the period a year ago, as sales fell to PLN221.2 million (€52.0m-$69.1m) from PLN256.6 million.