The beginning: a trip to Japan in 2018
It all began with a trip through Japan in 2018, when I, Florian, could experience the country of my wife (half-Japanese) at that time. She showed me the land of her ancestors including culture, customs, nature and life in the cities. In the pulsating metropolis of Tokyo I especially liked the mixture of modern skyscrapers and traditional small shopping streets. After our explorations in Tokyo we made a stopover in nearby Yokohama and finally took the express train to Osaka, a medium-sized port city in the middle of the Japanese main island.
The first inspiration: sock dealers in Osaka
In Osaka, between the roadway and stalls with clothes and everyday objects, I noticed again and again street stalls offering high-quality socks in all colors of the rainbow. The reason for the great sock tradition in Japan: Socks have a different meaning than in Europe, as Japanese do not enter their homes with shoes and slippers are not very common.
Back in Germany: Start of the concept for the sock shop
Having arrived in Düsseldorf, I thought: Why aren't there any shops here that offer a variety of sock creations, like in Osaka? I couldn't find any shops in the pedestrian zone, and even researching the Internet only produced a few online shops, with retro design and a very limited selection. I can do that better, was my thought. Then, I decided to fill this gap. Only not as a street vendors like in Japan, but as a digital version in form of an own online shop.
The kid has a name: Sockstock®.
In 2019, I was still working for an e-commerce agency and in the evenings I worked on the idea of my own online shop. After much thought, the name should be Sockstock®. The name should illustrate the wide range of socks for every occasion.
2019 sockstock.net went live
After a year of development, the company's own web shop finally went online in spring 2018. The shop offered men's socks, women's socks, children's socks and baby socks under the brand Bale®. In addition to socks, the online shop also offered a detailed blog with information on topics such as sock care, sock types, sock production and materials. So, the shop should not only offer high-quality socks, but also helpful advice and information.
Slowly the shop became known
The first shop was not exactly overrun by customers at first - small steps were necessary for the beginning. So, I got support from helpful friends who distributed vouchers and advertised in the circle of friends. The customers were enthusiastic about the quality that Sockstock® provides - and they became more and more.
In late 2019 brand manufacturers will be added to the range
Sales increased and so in 2019 the range was extended with socks from some brand manufacturers to offer more choice to the enlarged customer base. The shop's range now included socks from the premium brands Von Jungfeld, Burlington and Sterntaler.
More brand manufacturers & products 2020
To strengthen the positioning of Sockstock® as an online shop for high-quality branded socks at fair prices, additional brand manufacturers are to be added to the range in 2020. The range is to be expanded to include other products such as sports socks, sneaker socks and woollen socks to offer all types of socks.
Online from March 2021: the SockFinder from Sockstock®
To help you quickly find your favorite socks in our ever-growing assortment, we've created a digital buying guide. With the SockFinder by Sockstock® you can find your new socks in just three clicks. Choose style, color and other features and the SockFinder will show you selected models that fit you well. The SockFinder is available in German only. But we work on an English version.
New in 2021: Socks from Ewers, Sock It to Me, Salomon & Mustang
In 2021 we are expanding our sock assortment with more well-known manufacturers. Ewers is a traditional German brand, from which we offer you selected baby socks and children's socks. The label Thought from England stands for sustainably manufactured socks, which are made of bamboo cell fiber, organic cotton and recycled materials. Sock It to Me is a US label that has been offering socks with unique motifs and patterns since 2004. From the French outdoor brand Salomon we have compiled popular functional socks, sneaker socks and sports socks for you. The German brand Mustang offers simple leisure socks and tennis socks at a particularly good price-performance ratio.
In planning for 2022: a retail store in Düsseldorf
Small sock shops are to be opened in pedestrian zones and shopping centers from 2022. The first shop is to be built in Düsseldorf, in the Japanese Quarter between the main railway station and the Old Town. From 2023, further stationery shops are to follow in NRW. In this way, we are growing constantly and meanwhile returning to the roots of our company history: small shops with a large selection of branded socks at fair prices with personal advice.