Taxi Shoes, another German shoe company based in Pirmasens, has been swallowed up by Intermedium, a much larger trading company based in Holland. The takeover should improve the two companies’ bargaining power with their suppliers while enabling Taxi Shoes to expand faster in Europe through Intermedium’s extensive sales network.

Intermedium sells more than 20 million pairs of shoes imported from 80 Far East factories annually in Europe. Company officials said the group is becoming one of Europe’s biggest suppliers of footwear through this takeover, but no figures could be obtained. Founded more than 40 years ago, Intermedium belongs to four managers, with a minority stake in the hands of a private equity fund. Taxi Shoes previously belonged entirely to Horst Kunz, a German entrepreneur who established the company just over 20 years ago. He started off by importing Italian shoes and then created his own label, still seeking much inspiration from Italian fashion but sourcing most of the items in the Far East.

The Taxi Shoes range neatly complements the offerings of Intermedium. While Intermedium covers mostly the casual market through its own two brands, Frenzy and Picnic, Taxi Shoes has a dressier collection. Both companies act mostly as traders for private label items sourced from the Far East. Just like the Intermedium business, the turnover of Taxi Shoes stems chiefly from the sale of private label footwear, making up about 70 percent of its sales. An Intermedium subsidiary called Footwear International holds licenses for Betty Barclay and Tom Tailor shoes, which are sold in much smaller volumes through separate distributors.

For the time being Taxi Shoes makes more than half of its sales in Germany, with the rest spread throughout Europe. However, Intermedium has already taken up the range as part of its international offering since the beginning of this month. The Dutch company has sales offices in France, the UK, Germany, Spain and Switzerland, and it also has exclusive agents in several other European countries.