Made to measure menswear brand Indochino started in 2007 as a pure-play ecommerce retailer, giving customers the chance to order a personalised suit or shirt online. However the team soon realised that if they truly wanted to make it easy for men to look good, they needed to be available to customers wherever, whenever they were needed.
The retailer was then part of the wave of online-only players venturing into the real world, opening physical locations in the US and Canada.
CEO Drew Green told Retailbiz that the move into bricks-and-mortar was about “putting customers at the heart of the company”.
“Our aim is to change the way a generation of men shop by offering the luxurious experience of getting perfectly tailored, fully customised clothing without the high price tag traditionally associated with made to measure.
Indochino’s Calgary, Canada showroom.
“We realised that, whilst many guys are confident about ordering made to measure clothing online, there are those who prefer the physical experience of visiting a store to receive advice, get measured and see the fabrics in person.”
The company initially tested out bricks-and-mortar through short-term leases, and when the stores proved successful made the decision to open permanently.
Today, Indochino’s omnichannel model means that customers can order at their leisure online, shop in person at a showroom or switch between the two.
Green said that as “the current retail landscape is in turmoil” an omnichannel model such as this seems like the only way to go in order to survive.
He points to Amazon’s acquisition of grocery chain Whole Foods and Walmart purchasing omnichannel retailer Bonobos as an indication that omnichannel is the way retail is heading, but said it needs to be about more than simply offering online and offline options.
“It points to the realisation that customer attitudes and expectations have changed and retailers must embrace omnichannel in order to survive. This is not simply about launching a website or making online products available in a storefront.
“It’s offering a way for consumers to shop on their terms so that they receive a consistent and authentic brand experience on whichever channel is best for them at that particular point in time.”
An Indochino showroom in Vancouver.
Customisation is king
Indochino’s value proposition—the ability to order custom suits simply, and for less—meshes perfectly with the current desire for customisation, and Green said he thinks the trend will continue to grow.
“Without a doubt, customisation will play a crucial role in the future of retail. Fuelled by online advances, it’s already happening in other aspects of our lives—from personalised recommendations on Netflix and Spotify to curated news feeds on social networking sites to ads targeted to us.”
Indochino CEO Drew Green.
Along with the product, Green is also passionate about providing personalised experiences. He said that offering a customised retail experience for each customer online and in-store, based on their individual preferences, is at the root of what Indochino is about.
“At Indochino, the customer is firmly in control…By making every customer feel special and unique—rather than simply selling them a product—we’re building lasting relationships, and that is powerful.”
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