Hengst Footwear (Headoffice)
Broekslagen 8, 8331 TJ Steenwijk
T: +31 (0)521 535 653
From bridge keeper to shoe shop owner
The history of Hengst Footwear began with a bridge keeper from Parrega (Friesland, The Netherlands) who around 1900 repaired the shoes of passing sailors. Shoes that were left behind found their way to the local farmers. Eventually in 1901 this led to the opening of a shop with the words ‘Great Value’ displayed on the shop front. In the 1930’s the shop flourished until a disastrous fire in 1937 put a temporary stop to its success which recommenced with the opening of new premises.
The 1940s marked the beginning of our great success, when a second and third shop were opened. Starting a factory seemed to be the next logical step, but this was sold again around 1960. It was decided to concentrate solely on the wholesale business, which in 1967 moved to a new location; the old milk factory in Oldemarkt (Overijssel, The Netherlands). Two years later, as the first Dutch company at the time, Hengst took the decision to explore manufacturing opportunities in China. Taiwan and Korea followed, leading to a whole new world of possibilities.
The wholesale business grew quickly, leading to a need for larger premises, which in 1975 lead Hengst to take the decision to build its current site in Steenwijk (Overijssel, The Netherlands). Towards the end of the 80’s the Hengst distribution centre had grown to 6000 square metres. With this the ambition to develop abroad grew. What started in 1976 with a fair in Italy grew to acquiring more premises in Europe and Asia. Over the years our desire to offer ‘Great Value’ footwear remained the same. In this way Hengst honours the name of its first shop.