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Jantzen Update #2343249324

Discussion in 'Classic Menswear' started by Henry Boogers, Dec 2, 2004.

  1. Baby Pink

    Baby Pink Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    47
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    Jan 10, 2005
    Ricky's store is the size of a couple of toilet cubicals. His business is literally overspilling. Shirts waiting to be picked up/delivered are left sitting in the corridor and suits are hung up on the front door to make for room inside the store where more clothes are hung anywhere possible. Inside the store, more shirts in bags ready to go are laid across the floor, leaving hardly no space to walk. Cloth and swatches are piled up high in a disorderly manner. It's like a war zone. Every time I visit him, there's a big line up and you literall cannot get your foot in the door, and lunch times are the worst. The guy sleeps only a few hours a day, works late and has blood-shot eyes. Locally, he already has more orders than he can possibly handle. He has hired an extra helper, but that won't help much. He has a laptop computer burried under a load of stuff on his desk, so the chance of Ricky checking (let alone repying) to your detail/anal emails are slim. This is the reality. So you can keep ordering from him and if you get your order consider it a semi-lottery. This says two things: 1) strong demand for quality products at a fifth of the normal prices; 2) bad management and the unwillingless to expand.
     
  2. Horace

    Horace Senior member

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    1,447
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    Sep 28, 2004
    I like the description -- it sounds Dickensian. I also like the fact that orders take so long. That's Dickensian too. Plus it pisses off all the uptights concerned with customer service.
     
  3. chorse123

    chorse123 Senior member

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    Nov 5, 2004
    And keeps the orders down. [​IMG]
     
  4. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Senior member

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    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Reagan Country (Massachusetts)
    I wouldn't mind the wait or the quirkiness of the situation. The problem I have comes when I take the time to fill out and send in an order, and it just never arrives. This seems to happen quite a bit.
     
  5. faustian bargain

    faustian bargain Senior member

    Messages:
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    Jun 25, 2004
    Location:
    Bay Area
    i smell opportunity for the right person.

    one of you MBA's should step in, partner up with him, and set up a proper business.
     
  6. PeterMetro

    PeterMetro Senior member

    Messages:
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    Jul 9, 2002
    Location:
    New York
    I asked him about this last time I was in HK. He said he can't find quality shirtmakers at the prices he pays his. Not surprising I suppose.
     
  7. montecristo#4

    montecristo#4 Senior member

    Messages:
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    Jan 7, 2004
    Location:
    Reagan Country (Massachusetts)
    The answer here for Ricky is just so friggin' obvious -- raise prices.....

    At double the price I'm sure he'd sell at least half the number of shirts.... And with the resources he saves on production he could get some customer service going.
     
  8. Shirtmaven

    Shirtmaven Senior member Dubiously Honored

    Messages:
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    Dec 26, 2003
    Location:
    NYC
    I know that everything in NYC is more expensive then HK. I pay more for labor then you guys pay for an entire shirt from Jantzen. At least I can deliver in 2-3 weeks. His problem is that many of the best tailors have left HK ages ago. I have two Brothers in the 70's who still work for me. They made shirts for Acot Chang back in the 60's before moving to the states. The older one still does repair work for AC. Do they cut the shirts in his shop? Sounds like he is using the old system where people are sewing in the spare bedrooms of the homes. The only way for him to increase production would be to set up a larger factory. Carl www.cego.com
     
  9. benchan

    benchan Senior member

    Messages:
    329
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    Dec 3, 2004
    Just want to chime in a bit on this. One of the major attraction of Jantzen probably ain't his price, but the sheer number of fabrics and shirt styles available to his customers. And his store location really helps. There are at least 10-15 shirtmakers in HK who offer shirts of similar quality at a pricepoint that is 10-40% higher, but none of them are doing very well. Some of Jantzen's customers who help spread the words out made the switch from Wayston to Jantzen in year 2000 or so when they find the latter costs 30% less and is more conveniently located. Not much locals/expats looking for bespoke shirts are willing to pay rape price charged by AC and WWCHAN. Brand name shirts are in a totally different market segment, and yes those people are willing to pay extra for the cachet.

    As for J's customer service, I would rate him very highly--he will do anything to accommodate. I used to ask for a ton of details on my shirts(which in hindsight ain't a good thing) and he always comply. He also offered to replace my shirt sleeves when I rip a small hole in it by accident or when I saw some very minor misalignment at the cuff one time.

    As for having trouble in finding quality shirtmakers in HK, it is plain and simple, there is no new blood in HK nowadays. People much rather acquire other types of skills/qualifactions than the art of shirtmaking which they find offer little prospect.
     
  10. odoreater

    odoreater Senior member

    Messages:
    8,739
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    Mar 2, 2005
    Location:
    Elizabethtown
    I definitely agree with this. I would be willing to pay more for Jantzen shirts (as long as it's less than what shirts cost here in the States) in exchange for better service. The thing that I really like about Jantzen is the fabric selection. I use Chan for solid shirts because the service is great, but Chan is really lacking in the area of fabric choice.

    Having said that, I don't really mind that Jantzen takes so long. Just like others have said, you put in an order and if it gets to you, fine, if not, oh well, you don't really lose anything.
     
  11. Horace

    Horace Senior member

    Messages:
    1,447
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    Sep 28, 2004
    For me the only reason to deal with Jantzen is price. I simply would rather pay considerably more (and I have and do) then deal with it.
    I don't care about cust serv. and don't mind waiting 6 months.
     
  12. esvoboda

    esvoboda Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
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    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    Since Jantzen is expected to start accepting new online orders soon (May 24), I am about ready to place an order. I ordered one test shirt a year ago. I want to lengthen the sleeves, tighten the cuff, widen the shoulder, and order a dozen or more shirts with the new measurements. The thing is, Jantzen makes you fill out a new online form for each shirt. If I put in the remarks for the first shirt what measurement changes I need from the test shirt, how do I know for the second through 12th shirt that they are going to use the new measurements? Anyone have a problem with this? I'd rather not order a second test shirt due to the long turnaround time. I hope to receive these shirts by the end of summer. [​IMG]
     
  13. esvoboda

    esvoboda Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
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    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    I just realized that the wise thing to do is fax him with my order rather than using the restrictive online form.
     
  14. hklouis

    hklouis Member

    Messages:
    18
    Joined:
    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    i think Jantzen keeps details of measurements of all old customers (not sure how far back they keep these records), so if you have made a shirt in the past, and want new shirts with ammendments, i think it would be best to just provide your name, when you last made a shirt, and what you would like changed.

    luckily for me, i live in Hong kong, and they know me by name, so i seldom have to wait more than 2-3 days, and usually its next day service.
     
  15. briancl

    briancl Senior member

    Messages:
    1,220
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    Feb 17, 2005
    Location:
    Chicago
    can we pay you to be our jantzen go-between?
     
  16. esvoboda

    esvoboda Well-Known Member

    Messages:
    70
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    Mar 13, 2004
    Location:
    Virginia
    Heheh, you know, a Hong Kong entrepreneur could make some money in this situation. I'd have no problem paying a bit more for those Jantzen shirts to get a much faster turnaround and better communication. I'd pay a trustworthy agent. I'd be quite happy with these shirts at $60 if I didn't have to put up with any uncertainty b.s.
     
  17. Kent Wang

    Kent Wang Senior member Dubiously Honored Affiliate Vendor

    Messages:
    5,720
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    May 5, 2005
    Location:
    London
    I second the above as I am quite tempted to place my first order with them after the end of the moratorium.
     
  18. hklouis

    hklouis Member

    Messages:
    18
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    May 11, 2005
    Location:
    Hong Kong
    whilst its tempting to skim a quick profit from this situation, i am sure the guys at Jantzen will be quick to catch on..so i must decline..

    besides..i thought that waiting in anticipation was part of the 'Jantzen experience'..

    just a last word of advice, in my experience...its best to keep things simple..so if anyone do decide to order..keep it simple to begin with..apart from that..its a bargin...
     
  19. maxnharry

    maxnharry Senior member

    Messages:
    1,398
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    Feb 26, 2005
    I just got my second shirt and it took 5 weeks from order to delivery in the US.
     
  20. bch

    bch Senior member

    Messages:
    281
    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2004
    I talked to Ricky today about an order outstanding since February. It was 5:30 a.m., HK time.

    I talked to him for about five minutes. The man sounded beat. He seems to be a great guy, but he is definitely overwhelmed, working about 20 hours per day. He was extraordinarily apologetic, saying he feels really bad and does not have time to reply to all the e-mails he gets about shirt orders. He is looking for more help. Apparently, he has 1 person handling internet orders. He readily volunteered that his system of responding/processing orders is poor, and he's making changes to improve response time. Though he didn't say it explicitly, I get the impression he's also considering raising prices for non-local clientele, which would be a positive thing. I'd definitely pay more than he currently charges, and I told him so.

    On a positive note, he said that he has many new fabrics and will be updating the website soon. He said that the new fabrics will be of higher quality than previously. Apparntly negotiating with new fabric suppliers has taken up a lot of his time.

    Hopefully, Ricky will turn this around. He has an outstanding product for a more than fair price.

    All I can say is, if you're a regular customer (or hope to be one), treat the guy with some compassion, and be patient. I know we're all a bunch of perfectionists, but if you're on your nth 1/4" measurement tweak, see if you can't live without absolute perfection. I expect that changes to your pattern can cause delays, or outright shuffling to the bottom of the pile. Non-standard options (the kind that might go in the "comment box" on the order form) might also be deferred until Ricky gets caught up.

    I don't profess to know what else we as customers can do, but I really like the guy, and don't want to lose him as a resource.

    As a disclaimer (on Ricky's behalf), I don't want to put words in his mouth. Some of what I said is an inference from our conversation.
     

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