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Is there a market for a high-end menswear shop in Washington, DC? - Page 4

post #46 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by prozach1576 View Post

There are tons of young professionals in DC who make good money, have very few ties to New York, and are paying sticker or near-sticker for suits from J. Crew and Brooks Brothers. I think if branded correctly a store selling much nicer goods at only a bit higher of a price point would find a nice market.

Whats to say they appreciate nicer goods? Whats to say they want to move toward the higher end of the sartorial spectrum?

I think these guys go to jcrew or brooks because they know when they leave there, they will be in a fairly boring but decent quality suit that won't ruffle any feathers. From what I've seen, this is a uniform, nothing more, and brooks and jcrew are the known entity.


I think this store could work in the sense that it will stay afloat. I don't think this will be a massive money making venture, but if you enjoy it and don't mind not making a killing, you could probably be fine
post #47 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by joshuadowen View Post

I agree. I'm originally from the Bay Area, and would love to live there again, but think that this sort of business would have no hope out there. No one in SF wears suits anymore.

Except the embattled igents in Style Forum.

Suggestion: Belvest for the high end. They'll cut your model(s) to you specifications.
Wilkes Bashford dropped them a couple of seasons ago. Superb RTW quality. For the next
( lower level) H. Freeman and/or Samuelsohn. Maybe these options are too high for the archtypal
GS 12s, but for lawyers, consultants, think tank types, I think that they are right on.

Good luck again. I look forward to visiting your shop the next time I am in DC.
post #48 of 69
You may want to stop in to Everard (Wisconsin and R, next door to Sky Valet). Seems pretty close to what you're interested in starting.
post #49 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Ambulance Chaser View Post

You may want to stop in to Everard (Wisconsin and R, next door to Sky Valet). Seems pretty close to what you're interested in starting.

Based on their website, I would still travel to New York
post #50 of 69
What would be your elevator pitch to a guy who's perfectly fine with shopping at BB and other staple retailers and has been doing so for years? What is the real compelling factor here?

Most people who wear suits do not read blogs or are part of SF-like communities.

Something to consider.......
post #51 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by PiCcolocV View Post

Picture Spoo's persona, but in person (I am sure he is like that offline too, to be clear).

Quite kind of you, sir.
post #52 of 69
DC itself is a retailer's nightmare, that's why most of the "better" stores are on the periphery/suburbia. That's why I suggest Friendship Heights as well. Lots of people with cash are there and it is already known for high end shopping. If you really want to locate in DC itself, you could try the Farragut area - Burberry, chas tyrwhytt, brooks bros., and j press are all there.

I would not recommend 14th st corridor (hipster doofus ville with no money).

Downside of Farragut area is dead on weekends, unlike fship hts.

Good luck. If you can pull off an Armoury kind of store, that would be awesome. Badly needed in DC.
post #53 of 69

A couple of observations: 

 

I recently saw a graphic that said that clothes buying for men hits its apex in his 50s.  I guess this is when men start sagging in the face and other areas and start to overcompensate by buying nice clothing (We'll all find out, right!?) Maybe you should up your target demo a bit.  I would think that older men would not be into internet buying, but not sure. This graphic may have been in Put This On. I'll try to come up with it.

 

Streets of G'Town went out of business, I heard, and they seemed to be wanting to do what you want.  I only stepped in there once so I don't know why they didn't make it.  It was ok, but at the time I was not employed so couldn't splurge on their wares.

 

I think we are in need of some sort of huge discount mens store like Syms or Filenes basement (which are gone).  I think this town has a lot of cheap ass government employees who would rather go there than Macys when they need a staple suit/shoes, for example.  That would be your bread and butter. Like restaurants make all their money selling booze (They break even on the food).  Then have some sort of area where high end stuff would be highlighted (for us SF folks).  Filene's basement had an area like that. I think it was called "Off the Runway" or "From our flagship store" . Can't remember.  

 

I would occasionally pull some good ties, shirts and shoes from syms and filenes. 

post #54 of 69
I went to Streets a couple of times. I thought they had nice stuff, sales staff was knowledgeable and helpful. I'd view it as a cautionary tale for your venture. Maybe they were too expensive, but the store was put together nicely.

Other thoughts:

Location: I'm biased because I live there myself, but check out the area between Mt. Vernon Sq and Union Station on Mass Ave, near G-town law school. Like near City Vista. There are a TON of luxury high-rise buildings there now and more going up. There's really nothing in the way of clothing stores. It's close to the Hill too. Georgetown and Friendship Heights are really out of the way for anybody living in the city. Georgetown takes a bus to get there. Friendship Heights is pretty far up on the metro. Near Mt. Vernon Sq you get all the people in the city, plus it's easy walking distance to every metro line.

Product: The Armoury is a great store, but they're selling Drakes ties, G&G shoes, and Liverano suits, which is a higher price point than what you seem to be thinking of. It seems like you want the store to be more "accessible and cool" and less "aspirational/intimidating". Also, the marketing and concept and everything will be a factor, but ultimately, when you're a retailer, people are buying your taste. If you have good taste and choose items people want and appreciate, then you've got a chance. Without that, you're screwed.
post #55 of 69
^^^if you're going to try to do another suit supply don't bother. Also, belragzzo - have you ever tried running a business in DC? It is a very business-hostile environment. That's why DC doesn't have much retail compared to other US cities. Probably one of the reasons Streets went out of business. I would think three times before actually locating in the district itself.
post #56 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Viral View Post


Most people who wear suits do not read blogs or are part of SF-like communities.

Something to consider.......

I disagree! Tons of gentlemen on SF wear suits.
post #57 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cuttingboard View Post

I disagree! Tons of gentlemen on SF wear suits.

read what he wrote again
post #58 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadcammer View Post

read what he wrote again

Still disagree, tons of guys that wear suits read blogs that include fashion, style, harberdashery sections.
Of
post #59 of 69
I don't have any experience running a business in DC - I guess that could be an argument for locating in FH. But really any location outside of DC you'll be in with the upscale mall type stores. Which personally I find kind of unattractive. But I believe you that taxes and regulations are more onerous in DC.
post #60 of 69
Quote:
Originally Posted by coolarrow View Post

A couple of observations: 

I recently saw a graphic that said that clothes buying for men hits its apex in his 50s.  I guess this is when men start sagging in the face and other areas and start to overcompensate by buying nice clothing (We'll all find out, right!?) Maybe you should up your target demo a bit.  I would think that older men would not be into internet buying, but not sure. This graphic may have been in Put This On. I'll try to come up with it.

Streets of G'Town went out of business, I heard, and they seemed to be wanting to do what you want.  I only stepped in there once so I don't know why they didn't make it.  It was ok, but at the time I was not employed so couldn't splurge on their wares.

I think we are in need of some sort of huge discount mens store like Syms or Filenes basement (which are gone).  I think this town has a lot of cheap ass government employees who would rather go there than Macys when they need a staple suit/shoes, for example.  That would be your bread and butter. Like restaurants make all their money selling booze (They break even on the food).  Then have some sort of area where high end stuff would be highlighted (for us SF folks).  Filene's basement had an area like that. I think it was called "Off the Runway" or "From our flagship store" . Can't remember.  


I would occasionally pull some good ties, shirts and shoes from syms and filenes. 

The point about men in their fifties makes a lot of sense to me. I'm now 35, make a good income, but I have kids and need to pay for braces, college, etc. So I basically try to get pretty nice stuff on sale. When I'm 55, barring some serious problem in my career, I should be making quite a bit more money, I will be done paying for my kids, my house will be paid off or nearly so, etc. I could easily see myself spending four times as much on clothes as I do now. In particular, I could see myself spending more time in a good men's clothing store, and less time in places like Neiman's last call and Off Saks than I do now.

I would think that it would be a very good idea to make sure you include an older demographic in your plans.
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