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Shoe retailer Heinz-Horst Deichmann dies

Dr Deichmann transformed his family’s business into an international footwear retail chain.

The former head of one of Europe’s largest shoe retailers, Dr Heinz-Horst Deichmann, has died in Germany at the age of 88. Dr Deichmann transformed his father’s cobbling business – founded in 1913 – into a major footwear outlet. In 2013, the company had an estimated revenue of $6 billion, achieved from worldwide sales of 167 million pairs of shoes.

Described as a keen philanthropist, Dr Deichmann was known for generous employee benefits and involvement in various humanitarian groups – most notably the ‘Wortundtat’ programme. This project was initially created to help leprosy victims in India, but is now said to provide a variety of medical treatments to over 130,000 people in Germany, Greece, India, Moldova and Tanzania.

Dr Deichmann was born in 1926 in the city of Essen and regularly helped out in the family footwear business. He decided to pursue a career in medicine, but gave up his orthopaedic practice in 1956 to concentrate on running the family business. Eighteen years later, Dr Deichmann had opened his 100th store. Today Deichmann-Schuhe SE has a presence in 24 countries, with some 3,500 outlets and 35,000 employees. The billionaire’s 51-year-old son, Heinrich Deichmann, has served as the company’s chief executive since 1999.

Publishing Data

This article was originally published on page 3 of the December 2014 issue of SATRA Bulletin.

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