For many years now, Romania has been chosen as the production site for a large part of the technical mountain sports footwear of the brand SALEWA. A center of excellence had emerged in the Romanian region of Transylvania, which had attracted various companies - mainly from the Veneto region - for new investments. While many German brand companies in the automotive sector have created thousands of jobs in this region, the same has been accomplished in the footwear and apparel sector by Italian entrepreneurial families. The entire collection of the popular SALEWA "Mountain Trainer" trekking shoe with complex processing of leather/Goretex/soles had been entrusted to the DROKER company in Sebes for many years. 40% of all SALEWA shoes currently come off the production line there.
On Sept. 1, 2022, the Oberalp Group (Bolzano, Italy), a leader in the mountain sports industry, acquired the high-end shoe factory Droker S.r.l., (Sebes, Romania), which for years has produced 40% of SALEWA's entire shoe production.
Recently, we were able to double our sales figures and thus claim this production facility exclusively for our brand.
"In addition, we plan to equip our new model lines in the mountain boot and trekking sector with new materials and technologies. For this, we need more future-oriented expertise and production capacity.", says Carraro. This was the reason why the Oberalp Group was able to acquire the DROKER company from the previous owner’s family Alcide Giacometti. In addition to this production facility, Giacometti operates another two shoemaking plants in Romania and works in them for several renowned sports brands.
"I am very happy that as a family entrepreneur, I can pass on one of my factories to a South Tyrolean family business," says Alcide Giacometti about the sale DROKER to the Oberalp Group of the Heiner and Ruth Oberrauch families in Bolzano. "Together, we have driven many things with our entrepreneurial ideas over the years, and therefore DROKER will be able to develop in a stable way with the new owner." Since its founding in 1998, DROKER has expanded its workforce to 280 employees with permanent employment contracts, many of whom have remained loyal to the company for years. The Oberalp Group has thus taken a further strategic step towards being able to manufacture brands and products under its own responsibility in Europe, in addition to developing them. "This gives us completely new perspectives to be able to realize our brand idea of SALEWA and the idea of sustainability of OBERALP even more consistently in our mountain boots," Oberalp CEO Christoph Engl is convinced.
It is becoming increasingly important for a brand to be responsible for all the processes involved in its products: assured quality, proven durability, mindful business practices, and shared values are becoming decisive arguments for customers to feel they belong to a mountain sports brand. For the same reasons, at the beginning of the year, the Oberalp Group acquired the velour manufacturer VELOTEX in Germany, which weaves the basic structure of mohair wool for the ski skins of the Oberalp brand POMOCA (Lausanne, Switzerland). The Oberalp Group will invest in both companies over the next few years to become a leader in the sporting goods industry in terms of both production capacity and technology standards.