Scala Celebrates 40 Years

Tod Hunter

More than 400 guests celebrated the 40th anniversary of European adult-products distributor Scala at a dinner party at Van Der Valk hotel in Almere on March 15. The celebration started with a toast from Serge van der Hooft, CEO of Scala parent company Beate Uhse AG, who thanked the company’s clients, suppliers and the entire Scala team for their support and effort during the last years. Scala was purchased by Beate Uhse in 1999.

Scala Agenturen BV, headquartered in Almere, near Amsterdam, and ZBF GmbH, in Wiesbaden, Germany — both owned by parent company Beate Uhse AG — send adult-oriented products to almost 50 countries. The companies offer some 15,000 products, including videos and DVDs, lingerie collections, magazines and books, classic sex aids and contraceptives, and more than 7,000 sex toys. The products are produced in America, Europe and the Far East, with Scala increasingly signing exclusive European distribution deals with leading international erotica manufacturers.

It was a great opportunity to meet with customers and vendors from around the world.

The products are displayed in a modern 14,000 square foot showroom in Almere, which is also the location for in-house trade fair presentations held in spring and autumn. The showroom features a new product scanning system with hand-held scanners, which makes the wholesale purchasing process faster, simpler and more accurate, according to a company spokesperson. The operation can process as many as 120 orders simultaneously, and can ship up to 250,000 items daily.

Members of ZBF’s sales team, together with the Scala sales team, welcomed their customers to the companies’ shared Almere showroom. Roberto Pietryas from ZBF said “it was positive for the company as well as for our customers to get the whole product range out of one warehouse. The German customers and the ZBF team enjoyed the atmosphere in the showroom, which looks like what a point-of-sale should look like. The VIP dinner party was a huge success. The venue was great and made it possible to have valuable B2B contacts.”

CalExotics Founder and President Susan Colvin and Jackie White, CalExotics vice president of sales, traveled to the U.K. for Scala’s anniversary celebration.

Colvin and White presented Scala with a 40th anniversary plaque.

“Scala had just renovated their showroom so that each major supplier had a special section with all of their toys that they stock. We were able to talk to their customers and demonstrate the toys for four days.”

Scala also had a gala event that was attended by several industry leaders that flew in just to attend, Colvin said, noting Doc Johnson’s Ron Braverman, pjur owner Alexander, Sportsheets’ Tom Stewart, Trigg Laboratories’ Michael Trigg and Steve Bannister of BMS Enterprises were among fellow event attendees.

“It was a great opportunity to meet with customers and vendors from around the world,” Colvin said.

Charles Geerts is one of the founders of Scala Agenturen. He started selling porn magazines in the beginning of the ’60s, when porn was still illegal in The Netherlands. He got a hold of these magazines from Denmark and Sweden and sold them with big profits on the fruit and vegetable market in Amsterdam. Not much later he opened several sex shops in Amsterdam, Rotterdam and around the Dutch border. After legalization of porn in the Netherlands, Geerts and his business partner Henny van Marle started the wholesale distributor, Scala Agenturen, and in 1977 began offering products from historic brands such as Doc Johnson.

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