Wearing the trousers

Gardeur Gets a Leg Up

Chief executive Gerhard Kränzle has big plans for Gardeur.
  • Why it matters

    Why it matters

    The pants manufacturer aims to accelerate production, improve quality and grab a bigger slice of the market.

  • Facts


    • The German pants market had sales of about €4.9 billion last year.
    • Gardeur employs 2,000 people and has around 3,000 customers in 50 countries.
    • The company hopes to produce 10 to 15 percent of its pants in Germany within the next few years.
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Pants manufacturer Gardeur’s current advertising campaign features German actor Jan Josef Liefers and his wife, actress Anna Loos. The elaborate campaign is a new phase in the restructuring of Gardeur, said Gerhard Kränzle, the manager and majority shareholder of the firm in the west German city of Mönchengladbach.

“It is the first extensive campaign that we have invested in since 2007,” Mr. Kränzle told Handelsblatt. “Up to now, we had to keep a tight lid on expenses.”

When Mr. Kränzle joined Gardeur in 2010, the situation was grim. After Hamburg-based investment firm Capcellence had taken over the former family-owned company, a cost-cutting program had harmed product quality.

The new boss began an extensive clean-up of the company, which was founded in 1920 and began specializing in trousers in 1959. He closed down production in Asia and later brought design work and production preparation back to Mönchengladbach.

In October 2013, he took over 51 percent of the shares in Gardeur. The rest are held by NRW Bank in Düsseldorf. Mr. Kränzle’s goal is to acquire the bank’s stake as well by 2020.

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