Wenger brand Swiss Army knives will no longer be produced as of 2014, said Victorinox, the owners of the brand.
“Many consumers can hardly distinguish between the knife products from Victorinox and Wenger and the global fight for survival is getting increasingly fierce,” said Carl Elsener, CEO of Victorinox.
Wenger, a company that has been producing the multiple tooled pocket knives since 1893, was purchased by Victorinox in 2005.
Urs Keiser, a spokesman for Victorinox, explains the reasoning behind the decision, “The Swiss Army knife was not differentiated for the consumer abroad — we had to fix that confusion,” Victorinox has competition “to maintain shelf space” in stores. Having two similar looking brands of Swiss Army Knives in one store was a problem.
“That’s why we are joining forces and focusing on one brand: Victorinox… The concentration of forces will allow the group to grow within the global competitive environment, to enhance the product range and to strengthen the Delémont site in the long term.”
Victorinox said the decision would not affect any jobs at Wenger, which employs 248 people worldwide, including 193 people in Switzerland. Keiser added that Victorinox’s goal was to “maintain and create jobs — this reflects the company’s phliosophy”. Victorinox said it will continue to operate the Wenger site in Delémont, with all knives being produced there rebranded under the Victorinox name.
Victorinox, founded in 1884, is the “original inventor of the Swiss Army knife,” Keiser said. It produces 25 million knives a year compared with 2.2 million produced by Wenger,” and “both brands build on the same heritage of the Swiss Army Knife,” he said.
In addition to the famous varieties of Swiss Army knives, Victorinox produces a wide array of kitchen knives and cutlery.