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|Key people||Dieter Kasprzak (CEO)
Hanni Toosbuy Kasprzak (Chairman)
|Revenue||8.061 billion DKK (2012)|
ECCO Sko A/S is a Danish shoe manufacturer and retailer founded in 1963 by Karl Toosbuy in Bredebro, Denmark. Originally a footwear maker only, the company has since added leather production and accessories to its extensive range of men's, women's, and children's shoes.
ECCO claims to be the only major shoe company in the world to own and manage every step of the production process – from tannery to consumer. ECCO opened its first retail store in Denmark in 1982, and has since expanded to have more than 4,000 branded sales locations throughout the world.
ECCO was established in 1963 by Karl Toosbuy in the small town of Bredebro in southern Denmark. Toosbuy founded the company on the philosophy that “shoes must follow the foot” and not the other way around. His idea was to produce shoes that combined innovative technology, Scandinavian design, and traditional craftsmanship with an understanding of the human foot, and how it works.
In 1978, the company made its first real breakthrough, and gained widespread international recognition for its comfort footwear, when it launched the "Joke" shoe, followed by the classics "Free" and "Time". These shoes were the first in the world to feature a sole imprinted with the manufacturer's logo. Over eight million pairs of shoes from this group have been sold since then.
Throughout the 1980s, the company expanded its operations internationally. By 1982, sales reached 1 million pairs of shoes annually. In order to accommodate the increasing demand additional production was established in Portugal, and under licence in Japan and Cyprus.
The 1990s saw major additions in the ECCO collection, including the launch of Kids, Golf and Performance shoes. ECCO built its own research and design center, named "Futura", in Denmark in 1996, since 2009 Portugal is the R&D center of ECCO and opened its own beamhouse in Indonesia and tannery in Thailand a few years later. In 1998 the first flagship retail store opened on Oxford Street, in London. By 2000, ECCO owned every step of the production process, from design and leather production to branded retail sales.
When Karl Toosbuy died in 2004 his daughter Hanni Toosbuy Kasprzak became owner of ECCO and Chairwoman of the Managing Board. Under her ownership ECCO continued to expand internationally, and from 2005-2008 ECCO opened a state-of-the-art leather tannery and shoe factory in Xiamen, China.
In 2009 ECCO’s sports categories saw increased publicity when ECCO launched a new running shoe concept called BIOM, based on the philosophy of “Natural Motion”. ECCO’s new line of golf shoes also enjoyed a surge of popularity in 2010 when ECCO-sponsored golfer Fred Couples received worldwide media attention for his ECCO "Golf Street" golf shoes during the 2010 Masters golf tournament. In 2010, ECCO opened its first Performance retail specialty store in Shanghai, China.
ECCO owns tanneries in the Netherlands, Thailand, Indonesia and China. ECCO’s tanneries are among the leading manufacturers of leather to the fashion, sports, and car industries. ECCO has engaged in a research program to reduce the environmental impact of the tanning process.
Approximately 80% of ECCO's shoes are produced in its own shoe factories in Portugal, Slovakia, Thailand, Indonesia and China, and 20% under licence in a number of countries including Indonesia, China and India. ECCO projects a brand image of a level of comfort and style generally associated with exclusive high-end shoes, while retailing at prices that are a little above average for the mass market, and within reach of a wide range of consumers.
ECCO shoes are sold in more than 90 countries. The company has expanded its operations into markets in Asia and in Eastern and Central Europe, Canada, and the United States. Their products are sold through 1,100 mono-brand stores, as well as independent retailers and online sales.
In 1998, ECCO faced problems with a large quantity of shoes. Due to a production fault involving the composition of sole material a chemical process called hydrolysis caused the soles to disintegrate after only one to five years. After discovering the source of the problem, ECCO changed the composition of its sole material, though some current sources still claim that ECCO shoes disintegrate unexpectedly. As of August 2013, the American ECCO website offers customers a one-year limited warranty on "attachment of soles to upper and of components of soles to one another" and "durability of outsole" that it will not "deteriorate, crack, or split under normal wearing conditions".
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Ecco.|
- "ECCO Annual Report 2012". http://www.ecco.com.
- "ECCO Profile". Retrieved 2010-10-12.
- "Fred Couples Behind Golf Industry's Surprise Bestseller". Retrieved 2010-10-12.
- "ECCO Annual Report 2006" (PDF). Retrieved 2010-08-05.
- "ECCO Organisation; Business Units". Retrieved 2008-02-18.
- "ECCO LIMITED WARRANTY INFORMATION".