In a small barn on the Dommer van Poldersweg in Nijmegen, Johan Verschuur began to make children’s shoes on a small scale.
With his family’s support, Verschuur expanded his business. In 1916 he relocated to a larger site on the Gorisstraat, also in Nijmegen. But this space soon became too small.
Verschuur formed a company with Mr H. Verhey.
Verschuur and Verhey purchased the premises of the former ‘Verbandwattenfabriek’ on the Tooropstraat in Nijmegen, and established a well-equipped shoe factory under the name of N.V. J. Verschuur & Co. This name was subsequently changed to Nimco (Nimweegse Combinatie).
Nimco children’s shoes were performing well in the market, and easily measured up to English children’s shoes in terms of both quality and price.
1924 and 1930
The Nimco shoes factory underwent major renovation twice.
The shoe factory in 1930. The first fully electric shoe factory in the Netherlands
The shoe factory was equipped with a conveyor belt. Nimco was now able to manufacture 250,000 to 300,000 pairs of shoes a year.
Nimco launched girl’s hiking shoes, baby walkers and women’s shoes.
The factory expanded, adding a new manufacturing facility. Production increased to 350,000 pairs per annum.
Nimco worked with the Sint Maartenskliniek hospital in Nijmegen to develop specially adapted children’s shoes.
Johan Verschuur, the man who made Nimco great, passed away.
Nimco was unable to withstand the explosion in wages in the Netherlands, and was forced to reduce its workforce to 180.
As a consequence of the stretched labour market, and increasing competition from abroad, Nimco fell deep into the red.
The Verhey-Kühn and Thiecke-Verschuur families sold their shares to Adriaan Krol, a master shoe maker.
Krol began a large-scale reconstruction and renovation.
The production of shoes at the Tooropstraat in Nijmegen came to an end. Stocks at the time stood at 338,000 pairs. The management board decided to turn the factory complex into a shopping centre.
The 'Euro Center' shopping centre was opened in the former shoe factory. It housed a number of shops, including the Nimco shoe shop.
The Nimco shoe factory Nijmegen Tooropstraat 26 in 1971
Nimco Shoe Factory. 1940' & 50'
Montage-department Nimco shoe factory. 1940 & 50
Montage-department nimco shoe factory. 1940'& 50
Jan Krol, son of Adriaan, developed plans to relaunch the Nimco (women’s shoes) and Nimcosan (children’s shoes) brands, both of which benefited from a lot of goodwill in the Netherlands.
Nimco restarted the production of children’s shoes, women’s comfort shoes, therapeutic shoes and special shoes.
Following the closure of the Nimco shoe factory in 1970, many orthopaedic surgeons and rehabilitation specialists urged Nimco to start resupplying the special shoes which Nimco was always one of the very few shoe factories in the Netherlands to make.
Working closely with a number of orthopaedic shoe technicians, Jan Krol developed a new product: the precursor to what was to become Orthopaedic Footwear. These shoes gained great brand awareness, partly because health insurers were prepared to include them in their services.
Brothers Jan, Max and Ruud Krol formed a new company: Nimco Schoenbedrijven B.V. Their father Adriaan stepped back from active business, but remained involved with the company as an adviser.
Nimco acquired the limited company Zaanlandse Schoenhandel, an old family company with 11 outlets in North Holland. All these outlets were refurbished and given a new store layout.
Nimco developed Xsensible Inside®: unique stretch leather technology that unleashed a global revolution in the shoe industry.
Under the name 'Nimco, house of shoes’, Nimco operated 11 of its own stores and 6 franchises, specialising heavily in children’s shoes. The orthopaedic shoes were sold under the 'Nimco, house of orthopaedics’ name.
Jan Krol made initial contact with the orthopaedic company Schein in Germany, which subsequently developed to become a key collaboration.
Nimco became a holding company: Verenigde Bedrijven Nimco.
Following major renovations, De Wychert castle in Berg en Dal became the new head office of Verenigde Bedrijven Nimco.
Nimco opened an orthopaedic shoe factory in Portugal.
Nimco expanded internationally. The company’s strength of innovation ensured that it is ready for the 21st century.
A global patent was granted for the Xsensible Inside® stretch leather technology. This allowed orthopaedic and comfort shoes to be produced using stretch leather elements.
Nimco House of Shoes opened its 24th Dutch store in Roermond. The shops offered one of the largest children’s ranges in the Netherlands, selling only well-known brands.
Nimco House of Shoes won the Visa Retail Design annual award. The jury wrote: ‘Nimco House of Shoes is a dream of a shop, and is one of the finest shoe chains in our country. The store is surprising, flowery, colourful and transparent, and rather like a candy store.’
The new Nimco House of Shoes store concept continued under the name House of Shoes.
House of Shoes grew to 42 outlets, 20 of them franchises.
Nimco acquired the licence for a Japanese balance sole, and designed a new, innovative shoe collection under the name of Stretchwalker.
The economic crisis and the emergence of cheap web shops put margins in the shoes business under pressure. Nimco’s retail business, the only remaining representative of what was once such a large shoe industry in Nijmegen, suffered greatly from these developments.
House of Shoes launched a web shop.
The Krol family applied for bankruptcy for the House of Shoes retail chain. Some of the stores were sold to new owners and given a new lease of life. Nimco again focused 100% on its core business: the production of orthopaedic shoes and comfort shoes.
The Stretchwalker collection expanded and became part of the Xsensible brand. The shoes with the unique balancing point in the middle of the sole were now called Xsensible Sretchwalker.
Nimco opened a new, super modern factory in Portugal: Nimco Made 4 You. This factory used state-of-the-art technologies, such as 3D printing.
Nimco produced one third of all the orthopaedic shoes sold to order in the Netherlands.
Xsensible won the Gouden Schoen (Golden Shoe) Award 2015 granted by ANWR-GARANT Nederland.