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Indochino Expands Retail Footprint with More Showroom Openings

The recent showroom opening for custom apparel retailer Indochino in Toronto’s Scarborough Town Centre was a bit of a homecoming for the company’s President and CEO Drew Green.

He was born and raised in the community.

“I’ve been waiting for this moment since we planned our bold expansion strategy in 2015,” said Green, who has stayed close to the community over the years through friends and community involvement. “From West Hill to Agincourt, and all the amazing communities in between, Scarborough is rooted in cultural diversity, hard work and proud heritage.

“Bringing Indochino to my hometown is a real honour, and I’m excited and grateful for the people of Scarborough to be able to discover a better way to shop for great fitting suiting, outerwear, and casual wear — the custom way.

“It’s just a community that I’m really, really fond of and dedicated to and love. This is a special showroom for us. I think it’s going to really, really perform well.”

The Canadian brand, which offers a personalized shopping experience where customers design their own suits, shirts, pants, and coats, has opened in a 2,211-square-foot showroom which is the retailer’s fifth in the Greater Toronto Area.

“Toronto is one of our best markets both on a showroom comp basis but also on a market basis. The market grew over 30 per cent last year on a very big number and this is our first east GTA location. We’re excited about it,” added Green.

The retailer has 51 locations. Green said the company will end 2020 with at least 86 locations. All additional 35 locations will be in the United States.

In Canada, real estate company Oberfeld Snowcap represents Indochino in its site selection. Oberfeld Snowcap is also in the process of launching a US office.

“We’ve got a major partnership that we’re announcing that is a major part of that which I can’t really speak to yet,” said Green.

“We’re obviously a Canadian company and Canada does quite well for us. Toronto in particular as well as Vancouver. But there’s just so much opportunity for us in the U.S.”

Currently Indochino has 13 stores in Canada.

“What used to be a very niche part of the market, being custom apparel, has become increasingly mainstream. Our growth rate was phenomenal in 2019. 2020 is going to be probably our best year ever from a growth rate perspective and obviously on a very big number,” said Green, adding forecast growth could be another 40 per cent.

“Custom apparel has really come of age. The other thing that’s really been proven out and come of age is digitally native brands having success with a multi-channel view and execution. This business we’ve transformed from a niche brand to a North American and even global brand by really adopting an omnichannel strategy that’s differentiated.

“We’re a nine-figure revenue company and so that’s a big, big number.”

Green said high street locations represent about 40 per cent of the retailer’s business with 60 per cent in Tier One malls.

“What we haven’t done with the brand and I don’t see us doing is kind of going to Tier Two, Tier Three malls. We’re going to stay focused on quality versus quantity,” he said.

“Our model is so different than ‘traditional’ retail. The interesting things when we’ve tested and had the thesis about what a mall would do for us is it does provide us with a lot more walk-in traffic. What we’ve seen in the malls is a nice lift of this walk-in traffic and one of the reasons we continue to expand in the Tier One malls.”

Green said the retailer’s success has also come from its product expansion such as outerwear which was launched in September.

Article Author

Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi
Mario Toneguzzi, based in Calgary, has more than 40 years experience as a daily newspaper writer, columnist, and editor. He worked for 35 years at the Calgary Herald covering sports, crime, politics, health, faith, city and breaking news, and business. He now works on his own as a freelance writer and consultant in communications and media relations/training.

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