Re-defin­ing the mar­ket­place

WHETHER ON­LINE OR BRICK SAND MOR­TAR, IN DO CHI NO CEO DREW GREEN SEES EX­PE­RI­ENCE AND PERSONALIZ­ATION AS THE KEYS TO SUC­CESS

Calgary Herald - - FINANCIAL POST - Denise De­veau Post­media Con­tent­works SPON­SORED BY INDOCHINO

Indochino’s suc­cess story is all about dis­rupt­ing the sta­tus quo. Ten years ago, the com­pany set out to cre­ate a per­son­al­ized — and af­ford­able — on­line re­tail shop­ping ex­pe­ri­ence for men’s wear. The brand de­liv­ered on its prom­ise, of­fer­ing a highly en­gag­ing on­line cus­tomer ex­pe­ri­ence that out­shines the com­pe­ti­tion.

Fast for­ward 10 years, and Indochino has grown to be­come the world’s largest ded­i­cated made-to-mea­sure men’s-wear com­pany. To­day, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional cus­tomers alike look to Indochino to en­joy the lux­ury of a better fit and better qual­ity ma­te­ri­als at a better price than off-the-rack al­ter­na­tives.

But this is no time for Indochino to rest on its lau­rels, says Drew Green, chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer. For the past three years Indochino has been ex­pand­ing be­yond its e-com­merce roots and build­ing a fam­ily of store­fronts in se­lected cities through­out North Amer­ica.

“Indochino started with the premise that men don’t have to spend a for­tune for cus­tom cloth­ing,” says Green. “It was an in­cred­i­bly in­no­va­tive and dis­rup­tive idea. Now, through our show­rooms, we are dis­rupt­ing the mar­ket once again. We are chang­ing the way a gen­er­a­tion of men suit up, and it’s in­cred­i­bly ex­cit­ing to see.”

The growth tra­jec­tory since in­tro­duc­ing show­rooms has been ex­cep­tional. In 2015, Indochino ex­pe­ri­enced 47 per cent year-overyear growth for its e- com­merce and re­tail op­er­a­tions. In 2016, it was 55 per cent; this year, even higher num­bers are ex­pected.

“We started 2017 better than 2016,” Green re­ports. “In Q1 we’re al­ready 10 per cent above our plan for the year. In fact, in March alone we were 17 per cent above it. Over­all we project we will grow by over 50 per cent this year prof­itabil­ity, thanks to the strength of our re­peat cus­tomers.”

The ex­pan­sion started with pop-up shops. Once it was clear cus­tomers loved the idea, Indochino be­gan open­ing ded­i­cated show­rooms in Van­cou­ver, Toronto, Ot­tawa, New York, Bos­ton, Philadel­phia, San Fran­cisco, Bev­erly Hills and the new­est ad­di­tion at West Ed­mon­ton Mall. Next on the ros­ter are show­rooms at Cal­gary’s Chi­nook Cen­tre open­ing April 6; and at Burn­aby’s Metro­town on April 27. The com­pany also has its sights on ma­jor U.S. mar­kets such as Chicago, Wash­ing­ton and Seat­tle. By the end of 2017, there will be 18 show­rooms span­ning North Amer­ica. The ul­ti­mate goal, Green says, is to sell one mil­lion made-to-mea­sure suits and open 150 show­rooms.

The Indochino show­rooms prom­ise a lux­ury tai­lor­ing ex­pe­ri­ence, where cus­tomers are paired with an ex­pert style guide who tai­lors the ap­point­ment to their needs and helps them de­sign their one- of- a- kind suit or shirt. The style guide takes mea­sure­ments, as­sists with fab­ric se­lec­tion and walks cus­tomers through end­less cus­tom op­tions, from but­tons and mono­grams to pock­ets and lapel styles. Each gar­ment is then made to order and de­liv­ered within four weeks.

“It’s a com­pletely per­son­al­ized ex­pe­ri­ence from end to end,” Green says. “Cus­tomers can de­sign a one-ofa- kind suit to match their taste and per­son­al­ity, and cre­ate some­thing they are proud to wear.”

Green says Indochino’s new-found growth is thanks to the many years of suc­cess of its e-com­merce busi­ness. “Over time we have been able to hone the strat­egy and eco­nom­ics of the busi­ness to truly reach the mass mar­ket. We re­al­ized that in order for Indochino to be a dis­rup­tor again, we needed to fo­cus on the same ex­pe­ri­ence through re­tail.”

With any ex­pan­sion of this na­ture, how­ever, main­tain­ing prof­itabil­ity is key, Green notes. “A lot of com­pa­nies can grow their topline num­bers but aren’t al­ways able to do it si­mul­ta­ne­ously with becoming prof­itable. We’ve been able to do both by fo­cus­ing on op­ti­miz­ing our sup­ply chain and man­u­fac­tur­ing pro­cesses. We con­tinue to work on the back end to im­prove the cost of goods sold and pass those sav­ings on to our cus­tomers.”

Ul­ti­mately, Green cred­its the com­pany’s abil­ity to gain and main­tain global dom­i­nance to four key strengths: “We have an in­cred­i­bly ded­i­cated team that shares our mis­sion and core val­ues. We make and de­liver a fan­tas­tic prod­uct that’s unique for ev­ery cus­tomer. We have a prof­itable path to growth, and we have key part­ner­ships around the world that are equally pas­sion­ate about what we are try­ing to achieve. We’re very proud of what we have ac­com­plished to­gether.”

TAEHOON KIM / POST­MEDIA

Un­der the lead­er­ship of CEO Drew Green Indochino has grown its re­tail foot­print, open­ing show­rooms across North Amer­ica.

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