De Bazeroen, Heusden

| Vittoria Roitero

At the end of my workday, there is another appointment in my calendar. And not just any appointment: I get to go to De Bazeroen Mannenmode in Heusden! Not to shop of course, but to ask the owners Huib and Karin about their business.

I park my car in a parking lot just outside the fortress. It's free and you're in the middle of the fortified town within minutes. Of course you can also park in front of the store.

Less than ten minutes later, I walk onto Botermarkt. The De Bazeroen building soon catches my eye thanks to a beautiful canopy with a number of mannequins under it. When I walk inside I am immediately greeted by Huib, one of the owners.

What strikes me immediately is that Huib's outfit looks to pass muster. A real ambassador for beautiful men's fashion, I guess. Huib offers me coffee and we take a seat in the office, half a floor higher than the shop. What a cool building, with a split-level floor. And convenient too: from the office you can oversee the whole store. With Huib I soon get into a pleasant conversation about the origins of their Heusden adventure. Karin joins them a little later.

Huib and Karin, who are both from 't Gooi, had been dreaming of running a store together for years. "You can keep dreaming, but one day we said to each other 'if we don't do it now, we'll never do it again.'" They decided to go for it. Together they started looking for a store to take over. And if it was going to be a little farther away, there would have to be a home with it. In time, the couple stumbled upon De Bazeroen in Heusden. One fine day they got into the car together to go exploring. Huib: "When we drove into the fortified town for the first time, I said to Karin - who lived in fortified Naarden at the time - "Hey Karin, there's another Naarden!" So they immediately felt right at home in the picturesque streets of Heusden. Together they spent the afternoon on the terrace across from De Bazeroen to see what was happening. "Of course we first wanted to see who all walked in and especially what they came out with again" laughs Karin. The result did not disappoint Huib and Karin and they decided to approach the owners. The ball started rolling and the takeover was soon a fact.

Karin, previously working in marketing and sales, quickly saw that they needed to set their sights primarily on social media and customer loyalty. Those who follow De Bazeroen on Facebook will regularly see a video with Huib in the lead role passing by. "Huib is the face of the store, we find that many customers identify with him" says Karin. Huib nods in agreement; "True, I also really notice that it is appreciated that I as the owner myself am in the store and wear the clothes we sell."

"With us, shopping is truly an experience" says Karin. "For years we have been the PME Legend, Vanguard and Cast Iron specialist in Heusden and the surrounding area. We make sure we always have fun giveaways and promotions. When you buy a new outfit with us, you also regularly go home with a free towel or boxer shorts. You also regularly have a chance to win great prizes like a barbecue or a plane trip for two." Well, that sounds good. I will soon also encourage my husband to go shopping for a new outfit at De Bazeroen.

Huib and Karin tell me that every year they organize a big Brand-related event where the promotions and giveaways are totally over-the-top. "That's really cool, last year we even gave away watches and cool backpacks." Next year they are thinking about organizing a festive barbecue for their customers - in addition to the promotions and giveaways. If that's not customer loyalty, I don't know what is. The annual event takes place in May/June. Follow De Bazeroen on facebook or instagram to stay up to date on the exact date and promotions.

Even though we are chatting delightfully, it is time to take a closer look at the store. Karin leads me around the cozy store. It is soon clear to me that De Bazeroen has everything a man needs to dress from head to toe. I see jeans, chinos, polos, shorts, jackets, t-shirts and more. The store is decorated with cool promotional material from various brands and other matching items. There are helmets, a doll has aviator glasses hanging from its neck, an airplane propeller hangs on the wall, there are oil cans, American license plates, old radios, etc. Also catching my eye is a garland hanging throughout the store. "I made this garland from the leftover pieces of the pants that Huib made all shorter" says Karin. What a nice detail, I love that!

Huib immediately takes me to his sewing studio, behind the store. He gets behind the sewing machine and demonstrates how he works. By now he doesn't turn his hands away from it, but he says he was first apprenticed to Anita, the previous owner. "This service is really appreciated by our customers. While they take a walk through Heusden after shopping or go enjoy a drink on one of the terraces, we tailor the pants for free" he says.

And then it was time to say hello to Karin and Huib. I found it a surprising blog visit. De Bazeroen is not just another clothing store. When you go here to buy your men's clothing you walk in looking peaky again. Karin and Huib don't want to sell as much as possible, they want you to go home satisfied with purchases you are happy with. With their experience and passion they really take the time for their customers and give everyone tailored advice.


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