By Mario Toneguzzi
Vancouver-based INDOCHINO is in an aggressive expansion mode as it plans to open as many as 18 showrooms in North America in 2018.
The world's largest made-to-measure apparel company for men is opening its 19th showroom on December 14 in Mall of America in Minneapolis, the largest shopping centre in the U.S.
This will be the ninth showroom opening in 2017 and the company intends to accelerate growth and almost double the number of retail locations, adding up to 18 new showrooms throughout 2018.
The sites will span North America, with potential locations including Atlanta, Austin, Nashville and San Jose as well as additional showrooms in large markets such as New York and Los Angeles.
“It's been an outstanding year as we continued to expand into new markets and grow the business profitably,” says Drew Green, INDOCHINO’s CEO. “We’ve set up an on-demand retail model so we’re able to operate with no inventory in our showrooms, leveraging a unique model that minimizes costs and maximizes savings for our customers.
“We’re introducing consumers around the world to a newer, smarter way to shop where customizable apparel and affordable luxury are the rule and not the exception.”
In Canada, Green says, INDOCHINO has three stores in Toronto, one in Ottawa, one in Edmonton, one in Calgary and two in Vancouver.
The Vancouver-based retailer opened its first location in Vancouver just under three years ago.
“So about three years ago at a time when everybody was retreating from bricks and mortar and retail we actually made retail a core part of our strategy. We felt that to be successful, to truly disrupt the apparel and fitting industries, we really needed to focus on being an experienced-based company and not just sell products,” says Green.
“The showrooms we felt would provide us with the way to connect with customers in a way that would truly provide them a very unique experience - an experience that would lead to a lot of loyalty to the brand. And we’ve seen that. What’s become of the strategy is that retail is now our number one acquisition channel. Retail acts as the starter channel for our customers and most customers that come into retail end up buying again online.”
INDOCHINO showrooms promise a luxurious and highly-engaging experience. Customers are paired with a Style Guide who tailors the appointment based on their needs and helps them to build their one-of-a-kind suit or shirt. Style Guides take measurements, assist with fabric selection, and walk shoppers through endless personalization options, including buttons, pockets, lapels and monograms.
Green says the company model is unique and the cost associated with opening and maintaining a showroom are very different from its competitors, allowing for efficient and profitable expansion.
“Men’s apparel is one of the fastest growing categories in the online,” says Green.
The retailer is now also setting a new standard in custom clothing by introducing a three-week delivery promise for all orders.
“INDOCHINO’s goal is to make great fitting, personalized clothing the de facto choice for men across North America and achieving a three-week delivery timeframe marks a major milestone in this bold endeavor,” says Green. “This is the result of months of hard work from my team and our partners across the world and is just the beginning of our plans to reduce the delivery time as we continuously strive to find innovative new ways to provide our customers with a world-class experience, from start to finish.”
INDOCHINO customers take on the role of designer, selecting from millions of possible combinations of fabrics, personalization and customization options to create suits and shirts that are then made to their precise measurements and shipped directly to their door for a perfect fit, hassle free.
*Photos courtesy of INDOCHINO. All are of the West Edmonton Mall Showroom.
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary has 37 years of experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, city and breaking news, and business. For 12 years as a business writer, his main beats were commercial and residential real estate, retail, small business and general economic news. He nows works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
More Canadian Retail News: Canadian Retail News From Around The Web: December 8, 2017