It started in 1913 in a blue-collar area of Essen-Borbeck, in the heart of Germany’s Ruhr district. Heinrich Deichmann, born in 1888, opened a cobblers’ shop and ran it with his wife Julie. Two generations and almost a century later, the company has developed into Europe’s market leader. Deichmann is currently active in 23 countries with about 3,300 local shops and employs approximately 33,700 people. Now as always, Deichmann is a family business that believes in growing through its own resources. Stock issues and bank loans are out of the question for Deichmann.