Back to basic
Marco Keizer learned the fashion business from various teachers. He took over a large men's fashion shop and later on he added another two women's shops and a furniture shop too. He included Artu Napoli in his multi-brand store and he immediately noticed the effect it had. Four shops eventually became one shop. The first real Artu Napoli shop.
Four shops means a lot of extra work. "I am mad on fashion and I love my customers, but maintaining a larger workforce is nothing for me. My pleasure and my energy ebbed slowly away, so four years ago I decided to change tack and return to one shop. The owners of Artu Napoli were just in their start-up phase and we tackled this adventure together. You could say that we grew up together. ”
The fun is back again
Marco is usually in his business in Knokke and he enjoys (once more) running a fashion business and helping customers. "I like giving the customer personal service. To extend the bond with the loyal clientèle. A customer wants to know who he is buying his clothes from. And I can understand that. You don't just buy some clothes, but you also buy some perception, an experience which should be as pleasant as possible. That means that I create a cosy atmosphere by listening carefully to the customer, helping him and advising him in the choice of his clothes without giving him the feeling that he has to buy all sorts of things."
Belgian versus Dutchman
Marco's Artu Napoli shop is in an extremely suitable location. "The average visitor in Knokke is very well dressed and cared for. Very different from the average Dutchman. Why do Dutchmen buy everything a size too big? My motto: Everything which is too big, is comfortable, but doesn't look good. The target group here in Knokke attaches a lot of importance to a charming appearance. That makes me happy.”
The brand and the bond with the owner were the most important reasons for opening a new shop. "It just happens to be a franchise business, but it doesn't feel like one to me. There are guidelines, but there is even more freedom. There is an open culture, everything can and may be said. I value that, because if I have learnt anything in my (entrepreneurial) life, then it is that one must keep things familiar. Getting caught up in something that you don't want always gets the better of you. For me, Artu Napoli is a really solid brand that everyone should get to know, and I do my best to achieve that."
"It just happens to be a franchise business, but it doesn't feel like it to me. There are guidelines, but there is even more freedom."