Shops
/
Damstraatjes

The Old Man

Shops / Damstraatjes
Damstraat 14
Boardsports@theoldman.com

Entrepreneur in diversity Dick Eberhardt:
Once it started with what is popularly called “the Chinese shop in Damstraat.”
Dick Eberhardt is the boss of an Amsterdam empire with two wholesalers, thirteen stores and a real estate branch. ‘Amsterdam is everything from all over the world.’
Dick Eberhardt: ‘My view of the city is determined by the fact that I have been here all my life, but especially because I work here. I have been traveling through the USA for more than a decade and the message you receive is clear. Once you are a brand you have to be careful. Sell your pizza, stay away from the fries, sell your souvenirs and go into fashion then the whole thing will start to dilute. That is a beautiful theory, but I see it completely differently. We do Asian stuff, shoes, fashion, smoking articles, souvenirs, board-sports and much more, and that fits right here in Amsterdam. In fact – it is the strength of Amsterdam.’

Amsterdam feeling
‘The beauty of Amsterdam comes from its diversity. There’s the historic center, there are futuristic new constructions, art with an international look, we have almost two hundred nationalities, every kitchen is represented here and it expands. Neighbourhoods outside the center become centers by themselves, with special diners, coffee bars, clothing stores. When I walk through the city, that is what I like, that diversity. That you are surprised by something different – that is my Amsterdam feeling. And it is the reason that Amsterdammers, Dutch and tourists love the city. But there is a counter-movement going on. You see it happening – the ice cream shops, the souvenir shops, the umpteenth Argentinian Grill. And that – it might be a big word, but that is destruction. ‘

Pride
‘ I like to explain that. It is because fast profit determines the action. Look – making a company profitable on short term is not that difficult at all. You choose what is most profitable, dismiss the people who are not needed within the company and reject everything that does not have anything to do with it. Costs are of the most importance and everyone runs twice as hard for fear of being dismissed. Guaranteed better results within three years. But after that? You are in a company that misses a leg and you have to make an expensive prosthesis. It is the destruction model, American in general. My grandfather started this business in 1924 and it is – and that is essential – a family business. We are still working on it all together. That’s the legacy, not for your quick profit – you want to pass that on. That is why we choose so many different products, which is why I have also set up the “De Goede Zaak” foundation, which has to preserve the variety in the Amsterdam offer. Amsterdam is everything from around the world – just like our business. “

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