Indochino Launches Mall Store Initiative [Feature]

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Vancouver-based Indochino, the world’s largest made-to-measure menswear company, plans to open stores in malls nationwide after initially securing street-front locations. The retailer’s ambitious expansion plans include opening about 150 retail stores globally by the year 2020, with a goal of selling a million suits annually. 

This week, a second mall-based Indochino location opened at Toronto’s highly productive Yorkdale Shopping Centre, following last month’s opening at Square One in Mississauga. A third Indochino will open on August 11 as part of CF Rideau Centre‘s expansion in Ottawa, and sources say that the retailer has been in talks to open other enclosed mall locations in Canada. 

The Yorkdale store is over 2,250 square feet, and is the retailer’s third location in the greater Toronto area. “Yorkdale is the gold standard for mall shopping in North America, attracting some of the most affluent brands and over 2.5 million customers every month,” said Indochino CEO Drew Green. “It is with great pride that we join the ranks of world-leading fashion brands in Yorkdale with our innovative approach to made-to-measure apparel.”

Yorkdale Mall Plan

The Ottawa CF Rideau Centre store will be part of the mall’s newest expansion wing, which will be anchored by Quebec City-based fashion retailer La Maison Simons. We’ll be reporting on the mall’s expansion prior to its scheduled August opening date. 

The stores, or showrooms as Indochino calls them, are an extension of the company’s online made-to-measure experience. Indochino customers are paired with a Style Guide in-store, who helps them design one-of-a-kind suits or shirts, with suit prices beginning at $599 and shirts at $89 (both Canadian Dollars). Style Guides take measurements, assist with fabric selection, and walk shoppers through custom options including buttons, vents, pockets, lapels and monograms. Each garment is made to order and delivered within four weeks, when customers can return for a second fitting to ensure a perfect fit. The showroom works in tandem with Indochino’s e-commerce website, so men can access their profiles and reorder at their convenience. The showrooms are designed to be modern and bright, boasting comfortable reception areas and lounges dedicated to serving groom parties and other groups.

Dean Handspiker, Senior Director of Retail at Indochino, said: “Interestingly, our current showrooms are primarily appointment based but, with Square One first, and now Yorkdale, we’re seeing nearly half of our sales come from from passersby who walk in completely new to the brand”. He went on to say, ” Shopping Centres are now recognizing the uniqueness of our approach, that we are part of the next generation of retail, and thus a desirable tenant offering a point of differentiation in the market.” 

Indochino’s sales growth is remarkable. In the first half of 2016, the retailer achieved 66% year-over-year sales growth, anchored by 76% in year-over-year in-store sales and a 76% increase in new customers omni-channel. The company sold more suits and shirts in the second quarter of 2016 than it did in the combined first two quarters of 2015.

Oberfeld Snowcap represents Indochino as brokerage in Canada. According to Oberfeld’s website, Indochino is seeking retail spaces both on streetfronts and in enclosed shopping centres, generally in the 1,500 to 2,000 square foot range. Given that the Square One location is 2,900 square feet and Yorkdale is over 2,200 square feet, we expect these numbers to be amended. 

Indochino was founded in Vancouver in 2007 as an online custom suit retailer. Co-founder Kyle Vucko was recently replaced as CEO by Drew Green, founder of Shop.ca. Indochino’s showrooms include Canadian locations in Vancouver’s Yaletown area, three in the Greater Toronto Area (downtown Toronto, Yorkdale, and Mississauga’s Square One), and its U.S. showrooms are in New York City (Broome Street Soho), Boston (Newbury Street in Back Bay), Beverly Hills CA, San Francisco (Post Street, Union Square) and on Chestnut Street in downtown Philadelphia. 

Photos are of the Yorkdale store, supplied by Indochino. 

Craig Patterson
Craig Patterson
Located in Toronto, Craig is the Publisher & CEO of Retail Insider Media Ltd. He is also a retail analyst and consultant, Advisor at the University of Alberta School Centre for Cities and Communities in Edmonton, former lawyer and a public speaker. He has studied the Canadian retail landscape for over 25 years and he holds Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws Degrees.

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