The Art Company is developing numerous new initiatives aimed at becoming better known as a creative brand, with links to the art community. The Spanish shoe company is sponsoring a Spanish music group based in Berlin, Glamour to Kill, and it plans to launch an “Art Prize” in 2006. Meanwhile, it’s developing its internet site, www.the-art-company.com, to create a community of young artists, showing their pictures and paintings and providing links to their own websites. Getting points, visitors to Art’s website can vote for the best artworks in different areas, acting as a jury for the “Art Awards.”

Meanwhile, the Spanish shoe company is expanding increasingly in Eastern Europe. It entered Slovenia, Poland and Estonia in the second half of 2004 and it plans to enter Lithuania and Latvia this year. The Polish agent is Shoe Lamb, while Rikke Oy/Kaamos Finland – the agent for Finland and Sweden – is handling the brand on the Estonian market.

Art made a turnover of €34 million in 2004, up from €32 million in 2003, and is aiming for €38 million in 2005. Sales improved by 10-15 percent in Germany, by 20-25 percent in Spain, by 30 percent in Switzerland, and by 10 percent in Holland, but in the UK they were down by 5-10 percent. Sales should increase in Norway, Finland, Sweden and Denmark this year.