Status: 28.11.2023, 19:18 PM
By: Julian Baumann
The Swabian fashion manufacturer Olymp produces exclusively abroad. According to the boss, regionality, as Trigema is committed to, is not possible.
Bietigheim-Bissingen - The family-owned company Olymp, headquartered in Bietigheim-Bissingen in the district of Ludwigsburg, specialises in high-quality men's shirts and is considered the market leader in this area. In addition, the company also produces other garments. Olymp is probably also known for advertising with Hollywood actor Gerard Butler, who had already advertised for another well-known fashion group from Baden-Württemberg: Hugo Boss from Metzingen. Currently, the Bietigheim rapper Bausa is advertising for Olymp.
Olymp mainly ships its products within Europe, but produces worldwide. In an interview with Handelsblatt, CEO Mark Bezner, who has been running the family business since 2010, explained that in the 80s the company still had a production facility in Baden-Württemberg, but now has most of it produced in Asia. According to Bezner, a philosophy like that of the outgoing Trigema boss Wolfgang Grupp, who has now determined his succession, is not possible for Olymp.
Olymp boss says production is too complex to be able to produce locally like Trigema
Although Olymp produces worldwide, the Swabian headquarters are still of great importance. "Here in Bietigheim-Bissingen we do everything else: product development, design, procurement for every meter of fabric, every button," explained Mark Bezner. "We also produce the samples here." That's why the managing partner is regularly in the Stuttgart region. Asked whether regional production, such as the one pursued by Trigema boss Wolfgang Grupp in Burladingen in the Swabian Alb, would not be more sustainable, the Olymp boss said that the production was too complex for that.
|Olymp Bezner KG
|Mark Bezner, Managing Partner
|EUR 295 million
"In our high quality class, we need at least 50 to 55 minutes of pay per shirt," Mark Bezner explained in an interview with Handelsblatt. "Depending on the design, up to 116 individual work steps are also complex and demanding, so I don't see any alternative to manufacturing in Asia, if only because of the shortage of labour." While Trigema has taken up the slogan "100 percent made in Germany", Olymp says it stands for fair pay in Asia. The salary there is to be 20 percent above the minimum wage.
Trigema boss Wolfgang Grupp (right) produces exclusively in Germany. According to Managing Director Mark Bezner (left), this is not possible for Olymp. © Christoph Schmidt/Bernd Weißbrod/dpa
Fashion industry in distress: Insolvencies of retailers also have an impact on manufacturers
Due to the current inflation and high costs, more and more companies in Baden-Württemberg are getting into trouble and relocating their production abroad. Although Olymp is not directly affected by this, as the fashion manufacturer already produces exclusively abroad, the Bietigheim-based company is still feeling the current situation. "The past eight weeks have shown us that the fashion industry continues to suffer, that was bad," said Mark Bezner. In recent months, many fashion retailers have slipped into insolvency. Gerry Weber, for example, has to close hundreds of branches, including some in Baden-Württemberg.