“It was our number one performing store in December out of all 50 stores in the U.S. and that was without any real marketing. (Hockey legend) Wayne Gretzky is our brand ambassador but people really got excited. They would come walk by the store and a ton of people were coming in. The traffic was great and they just loved to learn about the brand. They shared the same thing we always heard from our U.S. customers that their shirts were too long and this was the perfect way to look polished casual,” said Riccobono.
“Obviously to have your first store in CF Sherway Gardens which isn’t even the busiest mall in Canada and to have that doing the business that it’s doing and the malls in Canada are just tremendous, I’m very excited about the future.
“You want to look good but these days everyone’s dressing casual. There isn’t a better way to do that than our product. People wear them to work because they look so neat. They don’t look sloppy.”
The company plans this year include the recent opening of a store in Ottawa’s CF Rideau Centre followed by openings in July in Calgary’s CF Market Mall and the West Edmonton Mall and then August in Toronto’s Yorkdale Shopping Centre.
There’s three more planned in Canada for the following year with one in Vancouver and at least one, possibly two, in Toronto.
The first store for UNTUCKit was 2015 in Soho in New York City and today it has just over 60 stores in North America. Besides the four Canadian stores opening this year, two stores will also open in the United Kingdom by the end of the year, signalling the company’s overseas expansion.
“We’ll have 85 by the end of the year,” said Riccobono.
“I started the company because I simply needed a shirt that could be untucked, that wasn’t too long and sloppy. In 2011, when I began working on it, it just didn’t exist. I did a lot of research on what the right length was and if this really was a problem and 95 per cent of men we surveyed had the exact same problem that anything that was available was too long and too sloppy.
“Today we’re just a very strong brand that carries essentially everything. We have our shirts. We have pants, shorts, sweaters, sports jackets. We have a women’s line, kid’s line. And people love shopping at our stores. They love the experience. They love the story of UNTUCKit and how it started. We’ve grown so fast.”
Riccobono said the retailer plans to have eight more stores in Europe and potentially in Latin America in 2020. He said another 20 international stores will come in 2021.
“When I launched I always thought it was going to be young guys (as customers) who really cared how they looked - real fashion forward guys. And luckily it ended up being essentially all men. Men 25 to 70 years old and it’s evenly distributed,” said Riccobono.
“We had a big campaign that we ran and we still run called All Shapes and Sizes because we have 50 different sizes. We fit 96 per cent of men. A young kid wears it. A son wears it. A father and a grandfather. And you see that all the time. So basically if there’s a man out there that wants to look good, doesn’t want to think about it too much, is used to wearing a shirt untucked, wants casual, then he’s a customer. We have everyone from the Leonardo DiCaprios of the world, name NHL players to a non-fashion forward guy in the middle of the USA. and that’s what’s helped us grow so fast.”
There are several reasons the brand, which is headquartered in New York City, resonates so well with consumers. Riccobono said the retailer has something for everyone.
“We have denims. We have two pocket flannels. We have prints. We have preppie stuff. We have night clubby stuff. You want to wear all black and go to a club. We cover everything. The key point is when guys come in and they try on a shirt they really do fit great. The quality is incredible,” he said.
“Most guys want to look good but they don’t want to spend too much time on it. We kind of fix that problem. You come in. You try on your shirt. You find the right fit. And then you can buy online or at the stores. And always know your fit. It’s a very easy shopping experience.”
Riccobono said there’s also a full ecommerce push happening in Canada and it will be shipping out of Canada. Also, UNTUCKit will be ramping up its marketing efforts.
“Our female line is about five per cent and that’s growing each month. It’s been doing really well recently,” he said, adding there is good potential future growth with that demographic.
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: email@example.com.