Footwear manu­facturer Riko Sport a part of LOWA group as of july 2019

1st July 2019 was a decisive day for LOWA and its brand history. Because it was on this day that the company acquired its long-time production partner Riko Sport. With that, it gained its own primary production facility in Slovakia under its umbrella. A big step for the Jetzendorf-based company. With this, its employee numbers grew from about 250 at its headquarters to more than 2,250 globally.

Rialto

Rialto

Italian footwear specialist Riko Sport S.r.l manu­factures approx­imately 12,000 pairs of LOWA shoes daily in its production facilities in Slovakia (RIALTO s.r.o). LOWA and Riko Sport share a long term part­nership. The footwear specialist has been making LOWA shoes since 1992. For LOWA, the acquisition of the production facilities is of course an important step, and a funda­mental building block as a part of its long-term sustainable company strategy. That is because LOWA has specifically focussed in its production on “Made in Europe” to ensure top quality, fair working conditions and shorter transport distances.

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“Riko Sport has manu­factured the majority of our footwear for years. With this integ­ration of Riko Sport into the LOWA group, it will be possible in the future to work even more closely together.”

Alexander Nicolai | LOWA CEO

Made in Europe: Better control, higher quality, increased sustain­ability

Guar­an­teeing high product quality is of course the highest demand of the LOWA brand. With production in Europe, this can be guar­anteed in every single step of production. With the primary production location belonging to the LOWA Group, the company now has oversight over the entire value chain. It can now directly influence vendors, material suppliers and the complete process of production. Furthermore, the tech­nology expertise and production processes also now remain in the companies hands. With its proximity to headquarters in Jetzendorf, a powerful exchange can take place, and the barriers of “two companies” are now no longer an issue with the acquisition. With this, it is possible to work together on mutual solutions. The key point is however clearly this: the clear commitment of the brand to “Made in Europe”. With the acquisition of a production location, the company has firmly buttressed its sustain­ability strategies. Since the company’s major markets are also in Europe, this means shorter transport distances and, with that, fewer emissions.

About Riko Sport

The company Riko Sport S.r.l has its admin­is­trative headquarters in Caselle di Altivole in the Italian region of Treviso. There, one also finds a small prototype production facility. The main production location for footwear manu­fac­turing is in Slovakia in the city of Bošany, where it does business as RIALTO s.r.o. This facility is approx­imately 680 kilo­metres away from LOWA headquarters in Jetzendorf in Bavaria. For the last 27 years, direct injection-moulded LOWA footwear in the categories All Terrain Classic, All Terrain Sport, Everyday and Kids, as well as Cold Weather Boots and Profes­sional Footwear have been made here.

The RIALTO company is the second-largest footwear manu­fac­turing facility in Slovakia. In the region around Bošany, shoe­making has a long heritage. An old company property was purchased in 1999 from the then-owners and a modern factory was built. The community of Bošany is situated in the Danube foothills in north­western Slovakia and has approx­imately 5,000 residents. RIALTO is one of the largest employer in the region. For the employees, health insurance and social welfare benefits are simply a given just as are extra wages for shift work and night shifts. One special feature is that the company finances 13 bus lines and employees can use them at no charge.