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Would you shop at a mens clothing boutique?

jhayx7

Platinum Member
Oct 1, 2005
2,226
0
0
I have been "dreaming" about opening up a mens clothing boutique shop that only deals with business attire. Around here the only place to buy nice business attire is Jos A Bank or Brooks Brothers but I HATE most of their stuff. It is boring, typical american corporate attire.

While traveling out of the country, I found a mens clothing boutique shop that has the most awesome shirts, ties, and cufflinks I have ever seen. All of the have that European flare that you can't find in most parts of America. I purchased one of their shirts and the build quality of the shirt is amazing and looks stunning. Every time I wear this shirt I get a lot of compliments and people ask where I got it.

What I have been thinking about is contacting this boutique and asking if they would be interested in partnering and opening up a store here in the states. The only difference is that I would like to provide more services to our customers, for instance, calling our customers who deal with us the most and letting them know of new arrivals or specials. I would also provide business discounts to the major companies in town ( similar to Jos A Bank).

The price range would be around $70 for a shirt, $40 for ties, $30 for cufflinks.

Now, would you shop at a store like this? Why or why not?
 

Mo0o

Lifer
Jul 31, 2001
24,227
1
76
Are you sure you can charge those prices for a boutique specialty store? Nordstrom / Brooks Brothers has similar prices and they have a much higher selection and customer base. There's no way you can compete with their prices selling shirts of higher quality. And you have to look into demographics, does Birmingham have the opulent customer base necessary to sustain such a shop? Asking whether WE would buy it does not make it a good market research strategy. Alot of users here are just college students and we most likely will NOT be shopping in a boutique store.
 

NuclearNed

Raconteur
May 18, 2001
7,717
180
106
I have recently shopped at such a place. I bought a dinner jacket and a nice pair of pants, both of which were fairly expensive but worth it. I would definitely go back.
 

ElFenix

Elite Member
Super Moderator
Mar 20, 2000
101,689
6,010
126
clothing boutiques are one of the highest failure rate businesses.
 

sygyzy

Lifer
Oct 21, 2000
14,001
3
76
Yes I would. Check out StyleForum and SuperFuture and you'll see a big market for this.
 

jhayx7

Platinum Member
Oct 1, 2005
2,226
0
0
Originally posted by: Mo0o
Are you sure you can charge those prices for a boutique specialty store? Nordstrom / Brooks Brothers has similar prices and they have a much higher selection and customer base. There's no way you can compete with their prices selling shirts of higher quality. And you have to look into demographics, does Birmingham have the opulent customer base necessary to sustain such a shop? Asking whether WE would buy it does not make it a good market research strategy. Alot of users here are just college students and we most likely will NOT be shopping in a boutique store.
This company has a product line that is greater than Brooks Brothers. More selections and the build quality is higher so I do not think the product itself would be a factor.

Birmingham is one of the largest banking powers in America, there is a lot of money around here, most people don't realize that. This shop would be the first of its kind here which I think would be very appealing to shoppers.
 
L

Lola

I think you have a good idea to start with.
You could really focus on a certain type of clientel. Those that are really busy and do not have time to shop at a huge mall and do not want to buy over the internet beacuse they want to try on the clothes first.

You would need to really focus on strong customer service. Offering top notch clothes, and personalize help. Perhaps working with the client the first time, getting to know what they like and need in clothing then providing them with things you know they want as soon as they come in, instead of having them search. I would suggest opening in an "up and coming" city where trends are modern and fashionable.

Great idea! It would be great to work there too. There is a lot you could do with the physical store and employees to make it a place men would come back to. :)
 

jhayx7

Platinum Member
Oct 1, 2005
2,226
0
0
Originally posted by: ElFenix
clothing boutiques are one of the highest failure rate businesses.
I agree but what are the statistics on mens clothing boutiques? There are womens boutiques on just about every street but I never see a mens (at least not here).
 

EngenZerO

Diamond Member
Dec 24, 2001
5,099
1
0
probably not at the given time...

maybe when i start wearing clothing like that i would consider it...
 

Feldenak

Lifer
Jan 31, 2003
14,093
1
0
Originally posted by: jhayx7
Originally posted by: Mo0o
Are you sure you can charge those prices for a boutique specialty store? Nordstrom / Brooks Brothers has similar prices and they have a much higher selection and customer base. There's no way you can compete with their prices selling shirts of higher quality. And you have to look into demographics, does Birmingham have the opulent customer base necessary to sustain such a shop? Asking whether WE would buy it does not make it a good market research strategy. Alot of users here are just college students and we most likely will NOT be shopping in a boutique store.
This company has a product line that is greater than Brooks Brothers. More selections and the build quality is higher so I do not think the product itself would be a factor.

Birmingham is one of the largest banking powers in America, there is a lot of money around here, most people don't realize that. This shop would be the first of its kind here which I think would be very appealing to shoppers.
Personally, I think it'd bomb in Birmingham. The area is full of conservative banking & medical professionals. Personally, I think if you want to do something like that, you'd be better off catering to their wives...but that market is pretty saturated already.
 

RichardE

Banned
Dec 31, 2005
10,246
2
0
I've shopped at a few. The one I always go back too the guy drops everything as soon as customer walks into the door. But doesn't push anything. If you say your just looking, he will go back to something, but just looking at a piece of clothing than looking at him, hes right back by your side again.

They also have an old fashion barber in the store which keeps me coming back too to get the straight razor shave sometimes. Awesome place.

They also do fitting right there and have a 1 day turnover as he does his own tailoring which is awesome. I go in, like a pair of pants, want this and this done to them after trying them on, and come back tomorrow and they are all ready.
 

jhayx7

Platinum Member
Oct 1, 2005
2,226
0
0
Originally posted by: LolaWiz
I think you have a good idea to start with.
You could really focus on a certain type of clientel. Those that are really busy and do not have time to shop at a huge mall and do not want to buy over the internet beacuse they want to try on the clothes first.

You would need to really focus on strong customer service. Offering top notch clothes, and personalize help. Perhaps working with the client the first time, getting to know what they like and need in clothing then providing them with things you know they want as soon as they come in, instead of having them search. I would suggest opening in an "up and coming" city where trends are modern and fashionable.

Great idea! It would be great to work there too. There is a lot you could do with the physical store and employees to make it a place men would come back to. :)

Thanks! About the physical aspect of the store, I would keep it very simple (men like simple). Dark hardwood floors, stark white walls with nothing but the product itself on the walls. Most stores are just too "busy" and I think it detracts from the product itself.
 

Feldenak

Lifer
Jan 31, 2003
14,093
1
0
Originally posted by: RichardE
I've shopped at a few. The one I always go back too the guy drops everything as soon as customer walks into the door. But doesn't push anything. If you say your just looking, he will go back to something, but just looking at a piece of clothing than looking at him, hes right back by your side again.

They also have an old fashion barber in the store which keeps me coming back too to get the straight razor shave sometimes. Awesome place.
I'd kill for a real barbershop around here.
 

NuclearNed

Raconteur
May 18, 2001
7,717
180
106
At the one where I bought my jacket and pants, the guy who waited on me sized me up by sight when I walked in, and got me a perfect fitting set on the first try. That was pretty impressive to me.
 

jhayx7

Platinum Member
Oct 1, 2005
2,226
0
0
Originally posted by: Feldenak
Originally posted by: RichardE
I've shopped at a few. The one I always go back too the guy drops everything as soon as customer walks into the door. But doesn't push anything. If you say your just looking, he will go back to something, but just looking at a piece of clothing than looking at him, hes right back by your side again.

They also have an old fashion barber in the store which keeps me coming back too to get the straight razor shave sometimes. Awesome place.
I'd kill for a real barbershop around here.
NS. I would love to learn to shave with a straight razor anyways.
 

Kelvrick

Lifer
Feb 14, 2001
18,438
5
81
Originally posted by: Feldenak
Originally posted by: RichardE
I've shopped at a few. The one I always go back too the guy drops everything as soon as customer walks into the door. But doesn't push anything. If you say your just looking, he will go back to something, but just looking at a piece of clothing than looking at him, hes right back by your side again.

They also have an old fashion barber in the store which keeps me coming back too to get the straight razor shave sometimes. Awesome place.
I'd kill for a real barbershop around here.
There has got to be a couple around me, but I just can't find them. Keep looking man, one day, we'll both be happy.

Those prices aren't that bad, isn't it basically like mall store prices? Banana, Express, CK, Ralph Lauren and stuff like that?

I pay the price for pants, jackets and ties, but I try not to spend more then 25 bucks on a shirt because they wear out too quickly.

The idea sounds pretty good, but you should establish a relationship with a good dry cleaner too. That, and do you have a good fashion sense? You can provide the selection, but can you help them choose the right one?
 

RichardE

Banned
Dec 31, 2005
10,246
2
0
Originally posted by: Feldenak
Originally posted by: RichardE
I've shopped at a few. The one I always go back too the guy drops everything as soon as customer walks into the door. But doesn't push anything. If you say your just looking, he will go back to something, but just looking at a piece of clothing than looking at him, hes right back by your side again.

They also have an old fashion barber in the store which keeps me coming back too to get the straight razor shave sometimes. Awesome place.
I'd kill for a real barbershop around here.
No doubt, it is awesome.

I just remembered the name of the place

David E White Clothier

So if you ever come through London Ontario it is a good place to view.
 

Feldenak

Lifer
Jan 31, 2003
14,093
1
0
Originally posted by: jhayx7
Originally posted by: Feldenak
Originally posted by: RichardE
I've shopped at a few. The one I always go back too the guy drops everything as soon as customer walks into the door. But doesn't push anything. If you say your just looking, he will go back to something, but just looking at a piece of clothing than looking at him, hes right back by your side again.

They also have an old fashion barber in the store which keeps me coming back too to get the straight razor shave sometimes. Awesome place.
I'd kill for a real barbershop around here.
NS. I would love to learn to shave with a straight razor anyways.
I already shave with a DE but a real barber shave would be great...not to mention getting a decent haircut instead of hitting up some "stylist" who gets confused when you tell them you want scissors used instead of some number on the clippers.
 

EvilYoda

Lifer
Apr 1, 2001
21,200
9
81
I think it would depend greatly on your experience with small business, location and your tailor. I enjoy wearing nice clothes and in the future, when I move money, I'd love to shop at a private boutique that can offer me all the fashion options I would want in one place. But that's not easy...you can say that good taste never goes out of style, but it's difficult to stay competitive.

There's a shop in Bloomfield Hills, MI called L'uomo Vogue...they're considerably more high-fashion that what you had mentioned, but around here it's either high-fashion or department stores (lots of money in the area and with Somerset we have Neimans, Saks, Nordstrom, Barney's in addition to individual designer shops).

Good luck ;)
 

Dr. Detroit

Diamond Member
Sep 25, 2004
7,737
302
126
This would have to be in a large city where the metrosexual population is huge.

I shy away from these types of stores as there clothing is seasonal and has fads associated with it. Clothing like this goes out of style quick and your wardrobe looks dated fast.

I stick to the basic colors for shirts. Only 100% cotton and high quality fabric. Brands like Ike Behar, Joseph Abboud, Hart Schaffner Marx, Kenneth Cole, Polo, Michael Kors, and Tommy.

With a wardrobe of over 30 dress shirts and me wearing one 3-days a week leaves me for a huge rotation. If I bought soemthing that would be out of style in a year or two I would have only worn it 4 or 5 times. For club wear I can understand as you can wear the shirt basically once a week, but in a business casual setting you can't be wearing the same shirt every week unless its a white shirt.

Although, with young twenty-somethings still having mom & dad pay their credit card bills i can see this business working quite well for those who enjoy their credit card debt. Lots of these stores already exist on the west coast in San Francisco & LA.

 

yllus

Elite Member & Lifer
Aug 20, 2000
20,576
431
126
No, but I would like to see a men's clothing accessories store.

Ties, socks, shoes, scarves, gloves, wallets... It's freaking impossible to find quality in a mall if you're male.
 

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