Reinhard Frans is the success story of a traditional Dutch family business, founded by Reinhard & Jasper Withaar. Both partners had been working in the top segment of the footwear industry for years. The prices offered for these top-quality shoes varied from 700 euros to up to 7,000 euros in some cases. They both thought: there has got to be a better way. The key to providing top-quality shoes at affordable prices lay in the in-house manufacture and sale of footwear without any intermediaries.
Bespoke shoes at a fixed price
Reinhard’s search for a footwear atelier led him to Romania. Today, a footwear atelier in Bucharest has 25 craftsmen that produce in-house designed shoes with handmade precision. The shoes are distinctive for their high quality, both in the leather used and the craftsmanship with which the shoes are made. Another distinguishing feature is the option to produce bespoke footwear. The foot size is measured, and the customer is allowed to customise their handmade shoe to their needs in terms of pattern, model, type of leather, type of sole, and much more. Giving the shoes a patina is also an option. A patina is a manual application of multiple layers of polish in varying shades of the desired colour. What makes the collection unique is that all the shoes are offered at a fixed price: 160 euros.
The shoes are shipped straight from the atelier to the company’s flagship shops. The first shop was opened in 2012 in Apeldoorn, and nine more flagship shops and a webshop soon followed in the Netherlands and Belgium. The shops’ customers are mainly business professionals of all ages. They also make extensive use of Reinhard Frans’ webshop. Their sizes are stored in the database, which makes ordering online much simpler. One additional advantage: there are practically no return shipments.
Shoes and sneakers
Besides an assortment of leather shoes for business wear, Reinhard Frans also has a selection of sneakers. Here too, production takes place at the source with plenty of care and attention to quality. The sneaker has a separate inner and outer sole and elastic shoelaces. Despite the slightly higher price of 235 euros per pair, sneaker sales are greater than the leather shoes for the professional market.
The business plans to open shops in Germany and the Middle East in the near future. The high frequency of German orders from the webshop led to the decision to open up shops in Germany.
Export countries: Belgium, with Germany and the Middle East in the near future