TallSingles.co.uk | An interview with Peter Feldmann from SchuhXL.co.uk

An interview with Peter Feldmann from SchuhXL.co.uk

by richard 1. January 2015 20:52

Peter Feldmann from SchuhXL.co.uk

SchuhXL.co.uk is a very successful online shoe store for men and women with large feet. Here we present our interview with Peter Feldmann, CEO of the company.

Peter, what made you start a shoe shop for people with larger feet?

Actually, the first shoe store in the family was started by my grandfather 85 years ago. In 1929, he opened a small and traditional shoemakers shop. The business has been in my family for three generations now. The first site where we stored our shoes was small compared to the one we own nowadays. It was situated in the storeroom of a former pub and only had thirty square meters in size. The first shoe shop was fifty square meters in size. We specialized in branded footwear for reasonable prices during the seventies. You always have to adjust your business to the needs of customers when you want to stay successful. Human beings walk on hard pavements today and our feet had to adjust to a different lifestyle. The need for more comfortable shoes was answered with a new direction of our business in 1995. At this time, we also opened a new business branch for shoes in bigger sizes. In 2012, we modernized our business again. You have to go with the times. 

Nowadays, we need a storeroom as big as a former furniture hall with 3.500 square meters for our new internet mail-order warehouse. I call that a huge and wonderful development. We went from scratch to where we are now. In spite of all modern technical developments we introduced in the last few years, we still take quality matters and customers need's very seriously. I believe that this is honored by our many regular customers. 

When did you start your British online store?

Due to growing interest in shoes for large feet, we initiated our first online store for large shoes four years ago. It was called "SchuhXL.de". After that, we developed a second online store called "ComfortXL.de" because we realized that many people are looking for more comfortable shoes in various widths. Many customers are in need of shoes with different fits or with exchangeable insoles. When people age or add some weight, they often develop problematic feet. Many customers are looking for shoes made from soft and flexible leathers. So we specialized this online store and offer all kinds of health shoes for orthopedic requirements.

At one point in our long history, we became aware of a growing demand for large shoes from customers from the U.K. - so it was only natural to open a third online store for the U.K in 2015. It is essential for us to serve our British and English-speaking customers in their own language. In an international online business, customers depend on accurate and understandable product descriptions. They expect additional information regarding the quality or special features of a shoe they are interested in. For me it is a question of customer service taken seriously, that creates the next step in our development. Our policy is to be available for our international customers. We want to offer them happy and comfortable shopping for shoes in large sizes. Our clients needs always come first.

Are large shoes as fashionable as normal ones?

Absolutely. In all our online shops, we offer the latest fashion in shoes for tall women and tall men. Smaller women and men also "qualify" as customers when they are in need of large shoes. The size of human feet is not dependent on body height. You can be of average height but still have large feet - and vice versa. Many teens of today already need large shoes when they are fourteen or sixteen years old. Finally, many of them end up being much taller than the generations before. As all young people before them, the young generation prefers stylish shoes from well-known or interesting new labels. The range of XXL shoes we offer reflects all kinds of tastes and styles. You find elegant high heels in XXL sizes as well as durable boots for hiking. Business shoes meet sandals or comfortable sneakers of high quality. So people with large feet do not need to do without the latest fashion in shoes.

Are large feet still a challenge?

Yes, I think so. Especially our female customers are aware that they do not meet the standard expectation of having small feet. In consequence, they are looking for stylish women's shoes in large sizes. All female customers hope that these manage to give the foot a smaller look. Many modern women use tricks to distract the view of others from the feet to the upper part of the body. When they have large feet, many people suffer from the complex that every one will stare at their extra-large shoes. Even prominent people with XXL sizes are not free from developing feelings of inferiority. You can read about Paris Hilton or others, that having big feet is a challenge in many ways. The same is true for tall people in general. Tall persons, as well as persons with large feet have to stomach a lot of comments. This can be very enervating. We at SchuhXL.co.uk want to care for good-looking women's shoes in large sizes. We also offer stylish shoes for men with extra large feet. As simple as that. Any challenge in life can find an answer.

Are large feet a phenomenon of western countries?

Not to my knowledge. It may well be that in some foreign tribes or societies, large feet have been seen as one of the characteristics of a leader. A web tester who studied cultural anthropology for some years, recently told me that the Karo-Batak in Sumatra, Indonesia, favor women with large feet. In this indigenous Indonesian society, women plant rice in the muddy fields. Large feet are convenient for that because they do not sink in so deeply. In Buddhist societies, large ears are connected with having the qualities of a Buddha. 

I think the modern view on tall women or plus-sized shoes for men is connected with questionable beauty ideals that we all tend to follow. We do not even question them. Individuality is something we only allow ourselves in limited amounts. When it comes to unusual body height or plus-sized shoes, many people would probably exchange these for feet or bodies in standard sizes. That would finish off our business endeavors, right? We both represent and support people who accept and celebrate their individuality. Fashion and shoes are very individual matters. Even big sized shoes for large feet can celebrate individuality. We should not be ashamed of any feature that makes us unique. Maybe in a hundred years, tall people represent standard height and small people get all the enervating comments. Any evolution defines its own rules.

What makes your SchuhXL.co.uk web-stores unique?

Well, I think that a family business with an experience of 85 years in the field of shoes is special. We have customers in over forty countries who are looking for large shoes for women or comfortable business shoes for men. Many of them are also tall men and tall women, I suspect. But not all or them. When feet and body are in good proportion, large feet seem to be more acceptable. They only stand out when you have normal body height. However, many manufacturers of shoes nowadays produce large shoes for men and fashionable women' shoes in large sizes. This enables us to collect the best European brands plus some international brands and present these in our online stores. Brands like Jack Wolfskin, Nike, Mustang or Camel Active shoes are examples for that. 

In our British online shop we offer large shoe sizes for women from size 42 to 46. Men's shoes in large sizes range from size 47 to size 52. Bigger shoes than that need to be custom-tailored individually. Our different websites offer safe shopping and safe payments with an SSL encryption. We are a registered "Trusted Shop". Our customers are protected according to this high standard. For every shoe, we offer different views plus a zoom function for a closer view at specific details. Our customers are informed about the width of a shoe as well as the material and its special features. Online shopping for large shoes at SchuhXL.co.uk is possible 24 hours a day. Our customer service is available between 7 am to 5 pm every Monday to Friday. Delivery time is between thee to six days, depending on country and other factors which may influence delivery matters.

Thank you for this interesting interview, Peter!

The pleasure is on my side. Thank you for this wonderful opportunity. Tall people have to stand tall to master their individual challenges.

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