Denmark’s oldest manufacturer of safety shoes is turning 150 years old
From just being footwear to being an essential part of safety at work, Sika Footwear, with 150 years of experience, has been involved all the way in the development of safety shoes for all industries in Denmark.
When the Engelbredt family began producing clogs back in 1870, there was no particular focus on safety or comfort in the workplace, and clogs were just something worn out of necessity. 150 years and four generations later, the Engelbredt family’s company has developed into one of the market’s leading manufacturers of highly specialised safety shoes under the name Sika Footwear - and the business is in excellent health. Since 2010, there has been marked progress is both earnings and results, and throughout the new millennium, the 150-year-old company has only presented accounts with profits.
Only supplier to all industries in Denmark
Until 1979, the company focused on ordinary clogs, but then made a landmark decision. Production was professionalised for the manufacturing of safety shoes for industry and work clogs for slaughterhouses, among others. Through a number of cooperation agreements with Danish and foreign manufacturers, Sika Footwear also began to produce safety shoes and boots, which form the basis of the current product portfolio.
The expansion has paid off, and today Sika Footwear is the only manufacturer to offer safety shoes for all industries in Denmark. The company has 150 employees at its headquarters in Denmark, sales companies in Norway, Sweden, Germany and the Netherlands, as well as its own production in Ukraine.
"The key to our growth lies in our many years of experience, innovative approach and wide range. But to say that our 150 years of experience alone gives us a decisive competitive advantage would probably be stretching it, although the company’s great age and uninterrupted family ownership in many of our foreign markets do give us a level of credibility that is hard to match,” says Head of Sales and Marketing at Sika Footwear, Hans Løve.
We need to be at the forefront of development and listen to the wishes our customers have - or preferably - will have in the future. This has been our approach for the last 150 years, and it will continue to be so for the next 150 years,
Head of Sales and Marketing at Sika Footwear, Hans Løve.
Close to customers
Although the clogs have only changed only to a minor extent since the 1970s, a completely different standard has now been reached for safety shoes. There are constantly new requirements for comfort and safety, which Sika Footwear seeks to meet through close cooperation with customers.
“You have to be able to wear our products for a full working day. The shoes must be breathable, lightweight and comfortable without any inconvenience to the wearer. That’s why we devote a lot of resources to developing the shoes in collaboration with the people who need them. The difference between ordinary shoes and safety shoes is much smaller than in the past, while they must also ensure a very high level of safety,” says Hans Løve.
“We need to be at the forefront of development and listen to the wishes our customers have - or preferably - will have in the future. This has been our approach for the last 150 years, and it will continue to be so for the next 150 years,” says Hans Løve.