WE ... honour visionary thinking

The ANWR GROUP celebrates innovative and creative specialist retailers from within its ranks. Only the appproximately 1,400 members of the ANWR GROUP in Germany and other European countries are eligible. In 2014, the trade cooperative therefore launched the inaugural August Blanke Prize to recognise innovative ideas and concepts in the shoe trade.

A competent judging panel – including representatives from trade and industry under the chairmanship of Professor Jörg Funder, PhD, head of the practice-oriented Retail Management degree programme in association with the Universities of Applied Sciences in Worms – evaluate the submitted ideas and chose the winner.

August Blanke (1883 – 1948):

“TWO PILLARS BEAR THE WEIGHT OF AN ORGANISATION IN EQUAL PARTS – BEWARE OF TRADITION AND AN UNBENDING WILL FOR PROGRESS.” 

August Blanke was co-founder and first managing director of the Nord-West-Schuhwaren-Einkaufsgenossenschaft, a shoe purchasing cooperative, and developed it into one of the largest purchasing groups in Germany – thus also laying the foundation for today's ANWR GROUP.

Early on, in the confines of his father's shoe repair shop, he realised that the traditional German shoe trade would have to change fundamentally if it wanted to persist in the world of tomorrow. Blanke was brave and open-minded enough to see the bigger picture – and, by founding Nord-West in Hamburg in 1919, identified a practical way to make his vision of a strong community become a reality. And this despite all odds. This revealed another key strength possessed by August Blanke: it is not enough to think like a visionary – without energy, resilience and perseverance a vision will never become reality.

Blanke was the initiator, catalyst and driving force behind the foundation of Nord-West and during its first 30 years of operation. He thus also took the step from “I” to “we” and was able to develop the “we” as a community that combines the power of multiplicity whilst maintaining the autonomy of the individual.

More information on www.august-blanke-preis.de