Joël Ferdinandus, owner of the Rotterdam men’s fashion store LokalHeroz, calls inspiring men ‘heroes’, whether they are famous men, friends, customers or acquaintances. With his all inclusive store in the heart of Rotterdam Joël brings quality fashion and lifestyle products to men in and around Rotterdam and in the rest of Holland. By using social media 24/7, Joël is able to constantly draw the attention of his clients in a natural, triggering way.
Joël, born and raised in Rotterdam, already had a great background in fashion before he started LokalHeroz: “I learned a lot about retail during my work for a company that developed franchise concepts for Replay in the Netherlands. When I was asked to come up with a new franchise concept, I developed an all-inclusive store with art, fashion and trend related products, where brands could present themselves to their audience; men of all ages, with a young mind.” As his employer wasn’t very enthusiastic about the idea, Joel decided to use it for his own store; one of the top items on his ‘bucket list’. He found an industrial looking place in the heart of Rotterdam. With a team of handy ‘heroes’ he redecorated some parts of the place and left other parts in their original state. In 2008 LokalHeroz opened officially. The interior mix of modern, rich, dark and rough materials is a great decor for fashion brands like Denham, Filippa K, Drykorn, Refrigwear, Acne, Henry’s Cotton’s, Wrangler Blue-Bell and Nudie Jeans. And because every hero needs his toys, LokalHeroz also presents interesting gadgets: the Revival radio from Roberts, hip city bikes from the Dutch Vanmoof, the Pacemaker dj-system, bags from QWSTION and lifestyle magazines. Several art works are placed everywhere in the store and vary from 3D sculptures and paintings to special art prints on T-shirts.
LokalHeroz is situated only a five minutes’ walk from the city shopping centre, more or less hidden behind the big Sint-Laurens church. Even though it is not on a busy shopping street, fashion loving men from all over Holland have Joël’s place on their must-visit-list for Rotterdam, and they know very well how to find it. Being a social media fanatic, Joël easily connects with clients. With daily blog posts and tweets he informs his ‘followers’ or visitors about new collections, a special fashion presentation, #LokalHerozwisdom, the latest trends or a live band in the store. Brands are very happy with Joel’s approach, because with the help of social media he reaches the perfect target group for their products. That’s why a special fashion event in Lokal Heroz, like a ‘denim seminar’, attracts a small but very high quality target group. Joël on social media:
“My phone is practically glued to my hand, it easy and fast; you don’t have to leave the store to communicate with people. Every employee has his own social media account for the store. By using social media I know what interests my clients. I can easily participate in dialogues with them about my store or about fashion in general. Specific customer wishes can be transformed fast and pretty easy into positive messages with the help of social media. In that way I try to be on top of mind with my clients as much as possible.”
words by Miranda Hoogervorst for Style in Progress