25 years ago the very first Mister B store opened its doors in the center of Amsterdam. Fast-forward to 2019 and Mister B products are available all over the world. Alongside three flagship stores in Amsterdam, Berlin and Antwerp, the third Mister B concept store just opened its doors this year in Zürich, after Frankfurt and Copenhagen.
Another retail concept by Mister B with worldwide exposure is the shop-in-shop. Earlier this year Mister B partnered up with German retailer Brunos. A shop-in-shop was realized in Hamburg, and smaller assortments are being sold at stores in Berlin, Munich and Cologne as well. CloneZone, another famous industry name, recently incorporated a Mister B shop-in-shop in their heavily expanded Manchester store. At this moment, over twenty Mister B shop-in-shops can be found across the globe, from the USA to Australia and from South Africa to Norway.
According to Jeroen Janssen, commercial manager of the wholesale department, these retail concepts are a vital part of Mister B’s strategy: “Mister B wants to cater to the needs and desires of gay and fetish customers around the globe. We want to offer a unique shopping experience in an open-minded and welcoming atmosphere. We work together with our partners to deliver just that. We offer training, marketing materials and market insights alongside exclusive items and tailor-made clothing.” The benefit for the retailer is clear, says Janssen: “Mister B is a strong brand, manufacturing high quality toys and gear for lovers of fetish. A partnership for us is a two-way street; we work closely with our partners to add value for both parties, all the while retaining strong margins. A physical presence in the middle of local gay scenes is part of the success of Mister B.”
The products of Mister B can raise some eyebrows here and there but openness and accessibility have always been a core value for Mister B. Janssen: “Our first shop in Amsterdam had enormous see- through shopping windows. Up until then, fetish and leather stores were hidden behind black blinds and double doors. It has always been important to us to be open to the outside world about who we are and about our sexuality. We are a company that takes a stand and really wants to play an active, visible and supporting role in local gay and fetish scenes. Our partners enable us to leave a mark, sometimes literally even.”
One of the ways in which Mister B supports local scenes is through their party concepts where visitors can live their fetish. Playgrounds and Damage, the party concepts, have been organized in cities all over Europe, always in cooperation with a Mister B retail partner. Brand manager Tony de Wilde: “Our party concepts are an embodiment of the brand. We work with the best cruising clubs, and where our resident DJ’s turn up the heat with their steaming tunes, Go-Go boys in hot fetish gear and our signature artwork do the rest to create that horny atmosphere so loved by visitors from near and far.”
Mister B operates on a world wide scale in a, although rapidly growing, niche market. A well thought through assortment and very high customer loyalty towards the brand are determining factors in the ongoing success of Mister B. Janssen: “We have tons of product know-how and very good insights in our customers’ desires. This translates in the continuous development of innovative products and, more importantly, the ability to reach target audiences and keep bringing both new and existing customer groups through our retail partners’ doors. I think this is why we can look back at a rich history, and have a bright outlook on the 25 years to come.”