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Gallus – the men’s shoe brand with tradition celebrates its 130th birthday

Most men prefer straightforward shoes with no frills: high-quality, hard-wearing leather, first class finish, traditional forms and above all comfort. This could be a statement straight from the 1920ies. That this would still apply in 2010 and that even customers in the far away Gulf States would buy Gallus men’s shoes, could definitely not have been foreseen by the shoemaker and founder of the Gallus brand, Heinrich Vogels.

The story of the Gallus men’s shoe begins 130 years ago. In 1880, Heinrich Vogels founded his shoe factory in Mönchengladbach, where he initially mainly produced robust working shoes. 20 years later, around 1900, he employed 80 members of staff who produced 150 to 200 pairs of shoes a day. The gloomy economic situation after the First World War had a disastrous effect on sales; however, things picked up again during the “Golden Twenties”. In the mid thirties, the production plant in Mönchengladbach could no longer keep up with demand and the company relocated to Dülken in 1938. A decisive factor for the move was the opportunity to extend the production plant from about 2,000 to 7,000 square metres, a production hall at ground level and the vicinity to three tanneries.

At the same time, renamed his enterprise and entered his company under the name “Gallus Herrenschuhfabrik” [Gallus men’s shoe factory] in the register of commerce. The name Gallus goes back to the Göttingen-based industrialist family Hahn of whom Heinrich Vogels obtained the rights to the brand in the 1930ies. The cock (Gallus in Latin), which from then on adorned the company logo, stood for high-quality, distinctly masculine and at the same time comfortable men’s shoes – and does so to this day.

Gallus shoes enjoy an excellent reputation

At the end of the Second World War, Vogels employed 600 women and men and produced about 1,200 pairs of shoes a day. The shoe industry experienced a boom in the 1950ies and 1960ies as a result of which the production plants had to be extended twice. In the 60ies, the number of pairs produced exceeded the one-million mark for the first time. The number of employees rose to about 1,000. Branches were set up in Hückelhoven and Wassenberg and the export to other European countries and to the Gulf Region and the Far East boomed. Here, Gallus shoes enjoyed an excellent reputation, being regarded as the guarantor for shoes of the highest quality.

In the 1970ies, Bernd and Peter Vogels managed the company in fourth generation and saw it thrive. A second plant was established in Wolfsberg/ Carinthia in Austria by taking over a local enterprise. In 1972, the Wolfsberg production plant was extended from 8,000 to 30,000 square metres. About 30 percent of the turnover was generated by exporting to other European countries – Great Britain, Finland, Switzerland, Norway and Denmark – as well as to the Gulf States and some African states. In 1973, Gallus Austria produced about a third of all shoes produced in Austria.

In 1979/80, the turnover of Gallus Austria was about 30 million D-Mark. The company employed 290 staff, who produced about 3,200 pair of men’s shoes a day. In Germany, Gallus produced about 4,000 pairs of men’s shoes per day in 1979, employing 450 staff, generating a turnover of about 45 million D-Mark. In the same year, Gallus applied for a patent for the Liberty brand and expanded its range of products by comfort and functionable shoes.

Heinrich Vogels (*1840) and his descendants managed the company until 1997 when a Dutch company took over the Gallus Group. Employing about 1,000 staff, the company produced about two million pairs of shoes per year. After the closure of the German location in 2000, the entire production was moved to Austria. Since 2005, the brand belongs to Swiss DOSENBACH-OCHSNER AG, an enterprise of the DEICHMANN Group.

Gallus – the best foot climate around

The lining of Gallus shoes, the so-called CLIMA product lining consists of a patented 3-layered special fibre, which completely absorbs the moisture inside the shoe. The CLIMA inner sole is breathable and provides optimal air circulation. Moisture is led outside and the foot inside the shoe remains cool and dry without developing unpleasant odours. The latest generation of the CLIMA technology is “Gallus Clima+”: it consists in the integration of a perforated outsole, which in conjunction with the air-permeable and breathable interior of the Gallus shoe enables permanent air circulation inside the shoe. In addition, the CLIMA technology prevents water from getting inside the shoe.

Gallus-Schuhe offers a wide range of men’s shoes: from elegant-classic business shoes via leisure-oriented slip-ons and lace-ups up to sporty sneakers. The summer provides a great choice of open and semi-open sandals or comfortable slip-ons. The prices range from Euro 39.90 and 59.90 Euro. From 6th September to 2nd October, customers in the over 1,100 DEICHMANN branches can enjoy a discount of ten percent for each pair of Gallus shoes they buy.

Media Contact:

Mode- und Produkt-PR
Michèle Leyendecker
Deichmannweg 9, 45359 Essen
Fon: +49 (0) 201 / 8676-422

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