By Karl-Heinz Büschemann
Actually, he did not want to go into the shoe business, then has shaped his entrepreneurship-Heinz Horst Deichmann’s Christian conviction. Now he has died at the age of 88 years in food.
In Germany it is as uncommon when an entrepreneur is successful and even religious. Heinz-Horst Deichmann was both. He lived according to strict Christian principles and his rise to one of the richest Germans he owed cheap shoes. The entrepreneur from food, which is one of the important family entrepreneurs of the Republic, died last Thursday at the age of 88 years.
Heinz-Horst Deichmann had not intended to go into business with shoes. Although he was the son of the Essen shoe dealer, who had his trading company founded in 1913. Deichmann it moved after the war but to finish school and study medicine. The young man was orthopedic surgeon and practiced a few years as a doctor.
the already deceased father’s company in 1940 initially led a community of heirs. But the family tradition took Deichmann one. He took over the family business in early 1956 and with the new boss began an unusual success story. Deichmann, became the largest shoe retailer and a market leader in Europe, which accounted for about 4.6 billion euros in revenue last year and 35,000 employees. The Deichmann empire now extends to America. In the 3500 branches around 35,000 employees. The Manager Magazine value the assets of the Deichmann family in 2013 to around 3.6 billion euros.
Good shoes at low prices
The Deichmann Motto sounds very simple, but Deichmann has also managed to bring the simple principle appearing to success. “Good shoes for a broad population at very reasonable prices.” The quickly brought the enterprising entrepreneur Essenes called “shoe-Aldi” one – one in also in the narrower sense of the word obvious comparison. Even the successful Aldi founder Karl and Theo Albrecht were from food. Deichmann achieved his success by letting manufacture its shoes in Asia, where wages are low. But this business principle brought precisely this entrepreneur a strong criticism. He is to people in Asia have employed to inhumane conditions, was presented was him. The attack met him, he said, and he did everything possible to refute it. For him it was always clear. “The company must serve the people.”
Each form of exploitation would not fit with the Christian principles of life of this man who, like his father to strict evangelical faith professes and pass on to his beliefs even to son Henry has leading the company since 1999. The man with snow-white hair has occasionally allowed a glimpse into his soul. So he told Bunte, one of his goals, as he put it, participate in it, “that Germany does not sink into impiety”. Much like the Albrecht brothers also the Deichmann family acts on the principle of silence when it comes to the numbers of the company. About the business only the most necessary is betrayed. The profits remain secret.
From social commitment made Deichmann never a secret
But it seems certain that the company is extremely profitable, and that it operates without significant bank loans. Unlike Aldi billionaire founder of the Heinz-Horst Deichmann but never turned his social engagement a secret. In addition to the company he built with a cost of millions to even the charity “wortundtat” that in India, Tanzania, Moldova, Greece and in Germany approximately 200,000 people care today. “He marketed his piety and is successful with it,” wrote a newspaper about the Essenes entrepreneur who published the account of his social deeds even a picture book and has contributed to a book
From Deichmann beautiful sentence stems.: “God will not ask me at the end, how many shoes I’ve sold, but if I had lived a true Christian.” Probably why he has his staff with extensive benefits. From Deichmann is reported that he had never terminated a worker for operational reasons.
His community involvement has Deichmann not prevented from also maintain a certain level of luxury. A resident in Switzerland was part of the life of Heinz-Horst Deichmann well as the love of hand-sewn shoes, as it does not exist in its stores. Deichmann justified this extravagance with its unusual shoe size that it PREVENTS on the products of your own home to fall back.
The death met the entrepreneur probably not unprepared. A few days before his death he said to the Christian media magazine per to the question “What is the dream you want to fulfill?” only with this laconic sentence: “My dreams are fulfilled.”