Dutch trouser brand Mr Marvis has exchanged its pop-up store in Antwerp for a fully-fledged flagship store. It is only the second physical store for the online brand, which invests in direct contact with its consumers.
Need for offline shopping
Mr Marvis started in 2015 as a direct-to-consumer brand, exclusively online, but has since expanded with two physical stores. “As we grew online, more and more customers asked if they could come by, to try something on. We noticed that there is still a considerable need to shop offline and to have that shopping experience”, CEO and co-founder David Sipkens explains.
“In the Netherlands, we opened our first physical store at our office in Amsterdam. That worked so well that six months later we moved to the P.C. Hooftstraat. That was our first real flagship store. We took the same approach in Antwerp: first, we had to see how things would go here, with a pop-up store in the Schuttershofstraat that opened in April 2021. That went so well that we have now found something for the longer term, across the street.”
In both Amsterdam and Antwerp, Mr Marvis has chosen a location in a premium shopping street. Is that how the brand sees itself? “Of course, in terms of prices we cannot be compared to a Hermes or a Chanel, but in terms of quality we play at a very high level. Hence the choice. By the way, we do see a rejuvenation in the Schuttershofstraat, as also brands like Ace & Tate have stores here now.”
A physical store is a nice channel to connect directly to customers – even for an online brand, Sipkens adds. “We have a lot of contact via e-mail or chat, but face-to-face is still something else. For us, the store is really an extension of the brand.” You can see that in Antwerp: in the store, the colourful trousers come rolling out of the ceiling, as it were. Life-size screens on the walls show the Mr Marvis experience with moving images.
“We are creating a beautiful offline experience for our customers here. People can see and try on the entire collection. However, customers always try on dark blue, and once they have found the right size they can choose colours, which we then take from stock. You can immediately check if your colour is in stock in your size, and otherwise order them online, with tablets near the fitting rooms.”
Whether the brand has further physical expansion plans? “We would like to have stores in the five countries where we are most active: in addition to the Netherlands and Belgium, these are Germany, France and the United Kingdom. Some of these countries might even lend themselves to two or three stores. Meanwhile, we are also active online in Spain, Denmark, Austria…”. Online, Mr Marvis is doing a first test in the United States this year. “We’re going cautiously: first learn, then we will see.”