Drew Green is president and CEO of Indochino.
Calgary’s Business: How did Indochino get started?
Green: Indochino has been built at scale, based on the belief that consumers don’t need to spend a fortune on a custom wardrobe. We took the premium made-to-measure experience direct to the consumer, creating a superior alternative to off-the-rack clothing at ready-to-wear prices.
We have recently been recognized as a true disruptor, and as a category creator in that we’re building a value proposition that hasn’t existed before. Our unique omni-channel approach to retail offers our customers made-to-measure tailored clothing and casual wear at exceptional prices and delivered within three weeks.
CB: How do you as a company differentiate yourself from competitors?
Green: We’re sourcing volume from traditional ready-to-wear businesses and to this extent our main competitors would be Tailored Brands, Banana Republic, J.Crew, etc. A few made-to-measure replicators have attempted to gain some traction but they are minor players in the industry. We’ve taken a niche category and brought it to the mass market, offering the premium custom clothing experience at an accessible price point. This puts us in the unique position where we’re offering a genuinely superior alternative to our ready-to-wear competitors.
In my view, there are three key points of differentiation that sets us apart:
First of all, we focus on giving customers an unforgettable experience, whether they’re shopping from the comfort of their home online or in one of over 30 showrooms across North America. We offer an immersive, highly-engaging experience and there is a real feeling of excitement when our customers order with us having designed their own garment.
Personal style is another – social media has changed the game in so many ways. Gone are the days when ‘one size fits all’ and everyone is content dressing the same; today’s switched-on consumers are looking to stand out and create their own brand. Every Indochino garment is made-to-measure and truly one-of-a-kind, from the lapels and buttons on the outside to the inner lining and personal monogram.
The third is price – we’ve dedicated years to honing the mass production of our custom garments and making every step along the way more efficient, generating savings that we can pass on to the consumer in the form of exceptional prices for what has historically been a luxury purchase.
CB: What’s new for the brand this year and in the near future?
Green: We just announced that we’re expanding beyond custom formal wear with the launch of custom chinos alongside an expanded range of overcoats. This is just the beginning of our arrival in the casual wear category – short-sleeved shirts will be next and our team is working on how we can continue to innovate and expand our product lines in 2019 and beyond.
We have very advanced digital marketing technologies that help nurture potential customers through our buying funnel, leveraging data, customer preferences and dynamic product retargeting. Our website features a personalization engine that serves up unique and relevant content based on a customer’s geolocation and their shopping and browsing behaviour – whether they’re planning a wedding or looking to visit a retail location, for example. Our mobile traffic is above 60 per cent and to that extent, both our online and retail experiences are fully accessible through a responsive and adaptive mobile platform. We are investigating mobile wallet options and add ons to our product roadmap.
CB: How many locations does Indochino have and what are your plans for expanding the brand?
Green: Expanding the business offline and opening a network of showrooms is integral to our growth strategy. Our Calgary showroom was our 12th location when it opened in April 2017 and we’re set to open our 32nd in Atlanta in September, just 18 months later. We’ll have 36 by the end of our fiscal year in January 2019 and are not planning on slowing down.
CB: Do you foresee the day when you will reach out to female customers?
Green: Our pattern is optimized for a male frame but we do have many happy female customers and showroom visitors will see our female style guides looking amazing in Indochino. We have our hands full with menswear at the moment.
– Mario Toneguzzi