Long-running LGBT fetish store Expectations has shut its doors on Great Eastern Street, London.
The store has been running for over 30 years and claimed to be the UK capital’s biggest leather and fetish store. It also had a sex license and sold hardcore DVDs, as well as sex toys and other accessories.
It is owned by the Millivres Prowler Group, which also owns Prowler store and GT magazine.
The group recently sold lesbian magazine Diva.
The store closed 31 December and a Tweet posted at that time hinted at changes.
— Expectations (@ExpectationsUK) January 1, 2017
A statement posted to the Expectations website confirms, ‘The closure is for a short period to enable a total refit with the space set to reopen in the summer of 2017 as GEAR London.
‘Expectations is continuing to serve customers online and by telephone through the new completely rebuilt Expectations Online Store, which means that we can continue to look after all your fetish shopping needs during this period.’
GEAR Berlin is an upmarket ‘concept’ store in the German capital that sells sportswear by the likes of adidas alongside leather and rubber designer clothing.
Rob Dilly and Matthias Kaminsky of GEAR Berlin said, ‘GEAR London is the next logical step with the opening of our second concept store in Shoreditch, London. GEAR London will be an exciting and welcome addition to our brand name and fetish scene known worldwide.’
‘It’s an exciting time for fetish businesses’
Derek Hamilton, consultant Brand Director of Expectations told GSN that the internet had transformed the way people shop for fetish items, but he believed the fetish market in London was in a healthy state.
‘It’s an exciting time for fetish businesses. Expectations online will give people greater choice than they had in the past. But GEAR will bring stuff in that’s not previously been available to London.
‘When it comes to toys and stuff, people are happy to buy online. For other stuff, like leather jeans, some people still prefer the showroom experience – and you need it to be an exciting experience. And that’s what GEAR is going to bring. This is an evolution.’