Fewer boots, more sports shoes as Polish retailer CCC adjusts to climate change


FILE PHOTO: Autumn colours are seen on foliage in Powsin park in Warsaw, Poland October 15, 2019. REUTERS/Kacper Pempel/File Photo

WARSAW (Reuters) – A succession of mild winters blamed on global warming has persuaded Poland’s biggest shoe retailer CCC to shift its focus to all-year sports shoes and away from traditional winter boots, it said on Wednesday.

Dariusz Milek, the company’s founder and one of Poland’s richest men, said CCC had failed to respond to the changing climate in recent years and could ignore it no longer.

“Two years ago and a year ago we thought that the mild winter was a (one-off) incident. Now we know that it is not. We have to focus on sports brands and year-round products,” Milek told a press conference, pointing out that most of the attendees were wearing light shoes in the depths of winter.

CCC, which is present in 23 countries and is the biggest shoe retailer in central and eastern Europe, said responding to climate charge was a key part of a new strategy aimed at boosting profitability after years of rapid growth.

The group plans to stock more environmentally-friendly products and also reduce its carbon emissions and electricity consumption.

It sees revenues rising to 8.5-9.0 billion zlotys ($2.2-$2.4 billion) in 2022 from the 5.8 billion zloty expected for 2019, while the margin on earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) is seen reaching 8.5-9.0% in 2022 from an estimated 2% last year.

CCC plans to reduce investment to 200 million zlotys a year from around 700 million zlotys in 2019, and will not make any takeovers during the period.

Reporting by Agnieszka Barteczko; Editing by Mark Potter

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