I would not be the only one who would say that this year is a truly sad year for everyone who is into this hobby. A lot of companies have gone out of business due to the pandemic and many more are disappearing everyday. Two of the companies that I want to talk to you about today are European. They are J. Rendenbach, a company known for their leather soles from Germany and Alfred Sargent, a shoemaker from the UK.
Pandemic was not easy for these businesses to continue their wonderful work. I guess because a lot of people are working from home and due to the lockdown (although in many countries the lockdown is over now!) people are not using shoes and boots as often as before. This means they will buy less shoes and boots. Furthermore, if someone uses their shoes everyday, the average longevity of the leather soles is 6 months ~ 12months. For J. Renderbach, they need to sell soles for the new shoes and also soles for repairs. Both of these activities stopped and they were not able to survive.
It is a big shame because JR is a family owned business and they make their leather soles using their traditional method and they are very good at it too. I have JR soles on one of my boots from Meermin, and these leather soles are not slippery and it actually feels very good to walk on. Other leather soles are often a nightmare to walk with. They are slippery and they remain slippery too. I wanted to get JR soles again if I could for shoes that need leather soles. Sadly, I do not think that will be the case.
Another business that is going out of business and gone into liquidation is Alfred Sargent. Alfred Sargent is a British shoemaker from Northampton operating since 1899. It was a family kept business and their shoes were amazingly good looking. Some of you have probably seen them doing a collaboration with well known brands like Polo Ralph Lauren, J Crew and many more.
Although I do not own any Alfred Sargent shoes or boots, they always had my interest. Before I got into shoes. Alfred Sargent Cambridge was one of the first shoes that has drawn my attention. I saw their boots and I was just mesmerized by how it looked and loved it so much and started to search for more. In the end, I didn’t get any of the Alfred Sargent shoes but I am deeply ashamed that they are under liquidation.
It has been a crazy year and I hope everyone had a better year than last year. I already said that I am disappointed, but I am excited to see how the market will change due to two companies going out of business. Let me know if you guys want to share other information about these lovely businesses or other businesses.