Tradition since 1886
The story of the oldest Posavje company and among the oldest companies in this part of the world….
Despite its advanced age, Kopitarna was not the first industry in Sevnica. Long ago, Sevnica had its own leather workshop, which lay on the left bank of the Drožanjski potok at the mouth of the Sava River.In any case, Kopitarna has the longest period of its existence in Sevnica and the longest tradition of making its basic product - shoe last as a tool for making footwear.In addition to this basic product, Kopitarna also offers fashionable and anatomical footwear, tensioners and stretchers for footwear and wooden soles.The factory is still in the same location as 135 years ago. During its existence, especially after the Second World War, it expanded in this area, new hall productions were built and modernized. New technology and constant investment in development are the reasons for its long-term operation.Kopitarno was founded 135 years ago by the German Winkle family, which is still a distinctly ungulate house today. As early as 1865, she founded her own firm in the German town of Altenstadt. Because they wanted to supply other Austrian customers with shoe lasts directly, they decided to set up a hoof factory somewhere in Styria. Probably, the possibility of exploiting the surrounding forests rich in beech also contributed a lot to this decision, because beech wood was the basis for making shoe lasts. Anton Smrekar, a civil engineer, responded to their advertisement and offered them his mill for sale. The conversion of the mill into a factory building, the installation of machines and other preparations, resulted in the production of the first shoemaker's last (October 1, 1886). In 1892, the first steam boiler was installed, where the products were steamed. Even then, a huge number of wooden shoe lasts (300,000) were made for today's conditions.After 1895, however, until the First World War, Kopitarna gradually expanded and modernized with new machines from America, built a dryer, and purchased a new steam boiler. During the First World War, mostly women worked in Kopitarna.After the First World War, competition began to increase in the newly established state of the Kingdom of Yugoslavia, which led the owners to completely improve the technology again in 1929 with the purchase of new machines.During the Second World War, production and sales were oriented exclusively to the German market. In 1944, the Winkle left Slovenia when partisans attacked the factory. After the Second World War, the factory resumed operation under administrative administration. At that time, the factory came into state ownership with a decision to confiscate property of German nationality.With the decision on the establishment of the company (LRS 31.10.1946), the factory was named "KOPITARNA SEVNICA". It still has that name after 75 years.On September 17, 1950, the workers took over the factory - self-management. The problems were in the old technology, so it was necessary to invest in development and investment. The transmission drives were replaced by electric motors. In 1966, a new semi-finished plant was built, which led to the demolition and removal of old wooden barracks. In 1964, the fixed assets of the metal haberdashery were sold to the Sevnica Metal Company and the production of plastic blinds began. The machine was bought in 1966 at the Zagreb Fair. In 1975, Kopitarna upgraded the plastic plant and at that time began the production of polyethylene shoe lasts. Thus, in addition to the production of wooden shoe lasts, heels and wooden soles, intensive production of plastic profiles and polyethylene semi-finished products for shoe lasts began in Kopitarna.At the end of 1980, the situation became very difficult (dinar devaluation and lack of foreign exchange) and the company needed to be reorganized, which resulted in the abolition of the wooden heel program and the search for a new program. As Kopitarna itself was not able to make such an investment, it merged into SOZD MERCATOR Ljubljana. At that time, a new program of orthopedic soles was created, which was the idea to upgrade wooden soles and finalize them into wooden footwear. Otherwise, wooden footwear has been made on a small scale since 1970, when the most recognizable product was born - a wooden clog.Since 1986, the production of leisure footwear has begun. These are anatomically shaped healthy footwear that is suitable for every foot and keeps the foot healthy and undeformed. That year, Kopitarna also patented a flexible wooden sole, which eliminated the last shortcoming of wooden footwear - the stiffness of the sole.At the break-up of Yugoslavia in 1991, Kopitarna founded its own company Bio hit Beograd in Serbia. As the production and sale of footwear decreased significantly during the wars in the Balkans, the company looked for alternative products and in 1993 decided to produce chairs, but even for these items there was not a large enough market and production was discontinued after three years.
In 1995, Kopitarna obtained approval for the privatization of the company from the Agency for Restructuring and Privatization, and in 1997 it carried out privatization, which was carried out in a ratio of 52% of employees and 48% of funds.In 1998, Kopitarna also participated in the recapitalization of company for disabled Inde Sevnica.In 2009, the relocation of part of the production of tensioners to Serbia began, and a year later the relocation of footwear production to Serbia. A subsidiary was established in Zagreb that year. As large old retail systems began to slowly decline and this was especially evident in the sale of footwear, in 2012 Kopitarna decided to build its own sales network mainly in new large shopping centers in the countries of the former Yugoslavia.Kopitarna Sevnica is today a joint stock company, majority owned by Slovenia. The Kopitarna Group has 141 employees. Despite the Corona situation, the company's operations are stable.In 135 years of development, Kopitarna has remained faithful to its tradition - the shoe last, which will continue to be one of the main products and the development of footwear that will be healthy, anatomically adapted, with special emphasis on always evolving according to fashion trends.Kopitarna has survived different countries, two world wars, different forms of social order, different reorganizations, different additional programs, different leaderships, ups and downs, yet we can all, both my colleagues and our loyal customers, be proud of the journey on the results achieved.
Andrej Mesar, director