German shoemaker, Josef Seibel targets higher local leather orders
German shoe manufacturer, Josef Seibel expects to increase orders for local leather as it targtes to produce 130,000 pairs of shoes annually.
The firm which currently produces 120,000 pairs of shoes yearly also expects additional staff to ramp up production.
“A hundred people are currently employed at the Ukunda factory. We are targeting to increase the number to 200 by the end of next year as we look to produce more shoe designs in the market,” said Carl-August Seibel, Chairman of Josef Siebel Africa.
The firm bets on increased local production to relieve from high import taxes when demand exceeds its local production capacity.
According to Seibel, company trains local staff- without knowledge of shoe making- from scratch, which has proven as a better system to meet the high international quality, comfort and safety standards.
The firm plans to leverage franchise models after opening its first store in Nairobi to add more outlets across Kenya.
“We have done the market study and are looking at opening 12 to 14 outlets across the country including Kisumu, Nanyuki, Nakuru, Kericho and other towns coming up,” added Josef Seibel Franchisee, Joe Ndungu.
The company is targeting the country’s burgeoning middle and upper class consumers with European comfort standard shoe brands made from Kenya’s highest quality genuine leather and designed for different age groups and occasion.
Josef Siebel shoes made loacally are currently being exported to more than 20 countries including the US, Europe and Canada.
German Ambassador to Kenya, Sebastian Groth termed the investment another big step for Germany and Kenya and adds to the total 120 German companies in the country.
“Germany will in the future look more and more interested towards Africa and Kenya especially in regards to investment and economic relations. We are ready to open a new chapter in our relations this year to mark our 60th anniversary of Kenya-German relations,” said Groth.
Josef Seibel Group produces upto three million pairs of shoes annually and exports to 40 countries globally.