Indochino is a Victoria, BC startup that is trying to bring made-to-measure suits to customers who want to look good, but don’t want to spend a fortune on Hugo Boss, or whatever the must-have designer suit is this season.
An entire suit, which looks pretty good in the pictures on their site, will cost between 250$ and 350$ Canadian. Their pricing is no-nonsense, duties are taken care of and if you need to have further alterations done, Indochino will pay your tailer up to 25$ for the work. Delivery time is 2 weeks from your order, and that includes being hand-tailored in Shanghai, China.
Shirts are a little more expensive. 100$ to 150$ for a shirt, which I am sure is nice, but Indochino has the problem that their brand is not strongly differentiated — which means it is hard to convince someone to spend that much on a shirt they haven’t seen in person.
The market for a service like this is huge. Every large city is full of middle aged and younger men who want to look good, but really don’t feel like shopping all the time. If Indochino can find a way to open up this market, then their business will grow dramatically.
Kyle from Indochino tells me they plan to keep up to date on new trends and styles, in a similar strategy as Zara and H&M. I think this is smart, as it lets you keep selling a lot of new clothing to a young to middle-aged demographic, but I keep thinking that the name “Indochino” isn’t sustainable long-term. It pigeon-holes the offering and limited their horizontal mobility later on. I’d like to hear from them on this.
These guys don’t sit still however, they are already experimenting in BC with an option that involves having a tailor come right to your house to measure you for your suit. If you aren’t in BC, you can have a sample of cloth sent to you along with a tape-measure, so you can measure yourself. Indochino already has a few hundred customers, and I am sure that will grow to thousands soon.
Their operation is lean — no inventory or exposure season to season — but they are going to have to do something significant to stand out from the crowd. A strategy focused on driving sales through social networks could, in my opinion, really set these guys apart. I have shared some of those ideas with them directly, so won’t post them here.
Indochino is a real business with a solid international infrastructure in place, they have the backing of a strong group of angels and their product is good and stylish (I will hopefully upgrade that to great when I have a chance to order my own jacket this week). Now it’s time to break away from the pack and stand out.