The ANWR Group, the voluntary consortium of independent retailers, celebrated its 100th anniversary at the “Elbphilharmonie” (Elbe Philharmonic Concert Hall) in Hamburg on July 1. ANWR invited 900 guests, including retail members, former chief executives, the descendants of founding members, entrepreneurs of the shoe industry and members of various associations. The German minister for economic affairs, Peter Altmaier, thanked the retailers in attendance, as well as their parents and grandparents, for their willingness to undertake entrepreneurial risk. He also emphasized that in modern consumer societies the individual can be strong only when backed by a strong organization, one that does not take on the freedom and risk of entrepreneurship and instead ensures that people share and develop their abilities and strengths together. For ANWR, which stands for Ariston-Nord-Wedst-Ring, it all started with the foundation of a voluntary group of 17 retailers, called EVE, in 1908. An older voluntary group, Ringia, merged with EVE in 1920. After World War II, 63 former members set up a cooperative called Ring-Schuh, which later merged with another one to form Nord-West-Ring (NWR). The latter merged in 2001 with Ariston, another voluntary group formed in 1926, creating a group that then took over the insolvent Garant Schuh in 2010. It began to be called ANWR two years later.