Ecco Xiamen tannery opens8 September 2008
Drums, cannons and fireworks signalled the grand opening of ECCO's Xiamen tannery in the Tong'an Chengnan Industrial Zone on Saturday, September 6. Local dignitaries from the municipal government and district authorities attended along with top representatives of the ECCO group and a great many overseas guests.
The new tannery is impressive and represents ECCO's biggest investment so far. The tannery is also the biggest one to have been built by ECCO and it is huge. Currently all processing will be from wet-blue but blue-prints do exist for the provision of a beamhouse and a technical development unit when the time is right. When ECCO acquired the site in 2004, the plan was to build footwear factories and although a tannery was included in the original layout it was never a full gone conclusion. In the event four footwear units are now up and running, making 15,000 uppers and 3,000 pairs of shoes on a daily basis. Panos Mytaros has been asked why the company decided to proceed with the project when the tanning industry in China is facing such turbulent times. His response is to remind them that ECCO never only look at short term horizons in any strategic investment. He says: ‘We have one of our top shoe factories here and will also have one of our top shoe factories. It makes sense.' The opening took place less than eleven months after the ground breaking ceremony on October 16, 2007. Mytaros also paid tribute to the group's founder, the late Karl Toosbuy, whose vision it was for the footwear company to tan their own leather. His daughter, Hanni Toosbuy Kasperzak, the current chairman and owner of the group, was in attendance.