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What would you buy? (Suit question)

Colpitts

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Gentlemen,

I have a question regarding suiting options...

Our small store (located in a very conservative city in Canada) needs to add a suit line. Our current 'flagship' suit is the BOSS Black Label ($995-1395'ish retail). I know there isn't much love for it on the SB, but its the highest end suit sold in our province, and because of its availability in each of the three small cities, it has generated much consumer awareness... and in order to find anything better you have to travel 3+ hours (Canali).

The city is very conservative, and people don't like to spend money. (PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND!)

Local trends are veering towards slimmer cuts, and the customers have gotten over the initial shock of the $995 pricetag. (They are used to seeing $6-800 for Strellson, Coppley, ect.)

I am considering many brands, ranging from the 8-1500$ mark. BOSS has become our best selling line, however, it is considerably easier to sell a customer on quality then look (canvas, fabrics, ect.)

So, bearing these qualifications in mind... What would you do?

Thanks in advance!
 

AvariceBespoke

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Originally Posted by Colpitts
Gentlemen,

I have a question regarding suiting options...

Our small store (located in a very conservative city in Canada) needs to add a suit line. Our current 'flagship' suit is the BOSS Black Label ($995-1395'ish retail). I know there isn't much love for it on the SB, but its the highest end suit sold in our province, and because of its availability in each of the three small cities, it has generated much consumer awareness... and in order to find anything better you have to travel 3+ hours (Canali).

The city is very conservative, and people don't like to spend money. (PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND!)

Local trends are veering towards slimmer cuts, and the customers have gotten over the initial shock of the $995 pricetag. (They are used to seeing $6-800 for Strellson, Coppley, ect.)

I am considering many brands, ranging from the 8-1500$ mark. BOSS has become our best selling line, however, it is considerably easier to sell a customer on quality then look (canvas, fabrics, ect.)

So, bearing these qualifications in mind... What would you do?

Thanks in advance!



Zegna, hickey freeman, isaia
 

mrskinny

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yah the Z zegna line would be comparable.. ted baker suits fall in to that bracket as well.
 

Colpitts

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I was certainly thinking Zegna.... However, the fits and quality is (like it or not) SO similar to BOSS that its almost like having the same thing...

hrm..
 

TRINI

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Samuelsohn?
 

dirk diggler

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you are so in luck. there is a new hot young designer near the border. his name is eric glennie.
 

FidelCashflow

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Originally Posted by Colpitts
The city is very conservative, and people don't like to spend money. (PLEASE KEEP THIS IN MIND!)
Originally Posted by AvariceBespoke
isaia
Epic fail for not just saying tom ford.... DUR!!! -----
Originally Posted by Colpitts
I was certainly thinking Zegna.... However, the fits and quality is (like it or not) SO similar to BOSS that its almost like having the same thing...
A canadian retailer on SF! Awesome! Are you in Saskatchewan or the Maritimes? I'm really trying to figure this out what province doesn't have a Holt Renfrew or Harry Rosen (since Boss is the most expensive brand available) that has 3 small cities. What demographic are you targeting? There seems to be a big divide between suits aimed at young guys fresh out of university, and the older more affluent guys. Do you want to focus on one of these groups, or go appeal to both of them? Perhaps a little more background on your store and your clients would help us assess what would work best for you. It sounds like you're still in a developing market, so I would think it to be most prudent to stick with a European brand with lots of name recognition. That will go a long way in justifying the price tag to consumers because they'll be able to relate it to what they see in GQ and Esquire. Z Zegna is pretty much the same price-point and style as Hugo Boss, but it is better quality since it's half-canvassed, although the perception amongst consumers is that they will be the same. As long as you're getting different items from each line, I don't think there's that big a risk of it cannabalizing existing sales. I've seen the local Harry Rosen sell them alongside each other, but the market here is growing. Another great choice would be Paul Smith. They have lots of very attractive suits at $1,295 CAN which seem to fall right in your price range. They've done very well at the Holt Renfrew here in Edmonton. The styling is trim, the fabrics are discinct, and they have tons of unique details like fancy linings and ticket pockets which you won't find on brands like Boss, Coppeley, Strellson, etc. You could also give Etro a shot, their shirts are over the top in terms of colours, but their suits are a trimmer, more youthful fit and are also a small step up in price from Hugo Boss. If you want to target the older guys like mid-30's and up, I think the next logical step would be to start carrying Canali. I know of one local retailer who's an independent retailer with a setup similar to yours, they sell mostly Canadian brands like Jack Victor, Samuelsohn, etc and tried to introduce Zegna awhile ago (not the Z Zegna line, but full-blown Zegna which is around $2K CAN a suit I believe) but I don't think it's gone over with their customers very well because it's such a big step up in price compared to the rest of their stuff. What brands have you been considering?
 

JimInSoCalif

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All of the suits and jackets that I have bought in the past few years have been Samualsohn MTM and I have been very pleased.

I have no idea what the retail price RTW would be in Canada. Anyone know?
 

dragon8

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Originally Posted by triniboy27
Samuelsohn?

I agree with Samuelsohn and aren't they made in Canada? If not, how about Joseph Abboud or Hickey Freeman
 

Doc4

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Originally Posted by FidelCashflow
Epic fail for not just saying tom ford.... DUR!!!


 

rjmaiorano

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Caruso is often found in small boutiques and fits your options.
 

SK8

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Originally Posted by rjmaiorano
Caruso is often found in small boutiques and fits your options.

+1
 

Colpitts

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Originally Posted by FidelCashflow
Epic fail for not just saying tom ford.... DUR!!!

-----



A canadian retailer on SF! Awesome! Are you in Saskatchewan or the Maritimes? I'm really trying to figure this out what province doesn't have a Holt Renfrew or Harry Rosen (since Boss is the most expensive brand available) that has 3 small cities.

What demographic are you targeting? There seems to be a big divide between suits aimed at young guys fresh out of university, and the older more affluent guys. Do you want to focus on one of these groups, or go appeal to both of them? Perhaps a little more background on your store and your clients would help us assess what would work best for you.

It sounds like you're still in a developing market, so I would think it to be most prudent to stick with a European brand with lots of name recognition. That will go a long way in justifying the price tag to consumers because they'll be able to relate it to what they see in GQ and Esquire.

Z Zegna is pretty much the same price-point and style as Hugo Boss, but it is better quality since it's half-canvassed, although the perception amongst consumers is that they will be the same. As long as you're getting different items from each line, I don't think there's that big a risk of it cannabalizing existing sales. I've seen the local Harry Rosen sell them alongside each other, but the market here is growing.

Another great choice would be Paul Smith. They have lots of very attractive suits at $1,295 CAN which seem to fall right in your price range. They've done very well at the Holt Renfrew here in Edmonton. The styling is trim, the fabrics are discinct, and they have tons of unique details like fancy linings and ticket pockets which you won't find on brands like Boss, Coppeley, Strellson, etc. You could also give Etro a shot, their shirts are over the top in terms of colours, but their suits are a trimmer, more youthful fit and are also a small step up in price from Hugo Boss.

If you want to target the older guys like mid-30's and up, I think the next logical step would be to start carrying Canali. I know of one local retailer who's an independent retailer with a setup similar to yours, they sell mostly Canadian brands like Jack Victor, Samuelsohn, etc and tried to introduce Zegna awhile ago (not the Z Zegna line, but full-blown Zegna which is around $2K CAN a suit I believe) but I don't think it's gone over with their customers very well because it's such a big step up in price compared to the rest of their stuff.

What brands have you been considering?



Located in the Maritimes!


Our clientele makes decisions harder.... With such a small amount of stores, we do not have the option to have stores dedicated to the younger generations, and stores targeting the 'affluent' 30+ group. One store has to do it all. (as efficiently and effectively as possible)

About 3 seasons ago, we carried S. Cohen, Jack Victor, Coppley, Strellson, Empire and Boss...
We no longer carry either the S. Cohen, or Empire suits (Too much similarity when compared with JV and Coppley, with no real competitive advantages)

Next up on the docket is Strellson and Boss... The fits are similar, price points within $150, and the obvious marketing advantage to Boss...
(As you guys pointed out... People around here want what they see in GQ, Esquire... 95% of clientele will not purchase a polo without a logo... for example)


We've considered Samuelsohn, however Coppley's made to measure program has been building since introduction, and the brand loyalty is the best of our 'full cuts'.

Raffaele Caruso is very interesting, and I would love to know how difficult it would be to find a distributor in Canada.

Canali is always a possibility... But the traditional Italian cuts are not doing as well as the tapered garments.

Thanks for everyone's comments!
 

gnatty8

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Originally Posted by Colpitts
Canali is always a possibility... But the traditional Italian cuts are not doing as well as the tapered garments.

Thanks for everyone's comments!


Seems to me then that Z Zegna would not be a bad choice, despite its similarity to Boss in terms of fit. You can target another demographic with different fit, or if the "tapered garments" are doing better than traditional fits, sell more of them by giving people a choice between Boss and Z Zegna.

I'm guessing Halifax.
 

polar-lemon

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Originally Posted by Colpitts
Located in the Maritimes!


Our clientele makes decisions harder.... With such a small amount of stores, we do not have the option to have stores dedicated to the younger generations, and stores targeting the 'affluent' 30+ group. One store has to do it all. (as efficiently and effectively as possible)

About 3 seasons ago, we carried S. Cohen, Jack Victor, Coppley, Strellson, Empire and Boss...
We no longer carry either the S. Cohen, or Empire suits (Too much similarity when compared with JV and Coppley, with no real competitive advantages)

Next up on the docket is Strellson and Boss... The fits are similar, price points within $150, and the obvious marketing advantage to Boss...
(As you guys pointed out... People around here want what they see in GQ, Esquire... 95% of clientele will not purchase a polo without a logo... for example)


We've considered Samuelsohn, however Coppley's made to measure program has been building since introduction, and the brand loyalty is the best of our 'full cuts'.

Raffaele Caruso is very interesting, and I would love to know how difficult it would be to find a distributor in Canada.

Canali is always a possibility... But the traditional Italian cuts are not doing as well as the tapered garments.

Thanks for everyone's comments!


I think Canali is the ideal next step up. Caruso would be fantastic, but it all depends on how much it costs. I don't think Z Zegna would not be a good choice if you're looking to add a higher quality line; I would rather offer Z Zegna alongside Boss, and then still offer a fully canvassed flagship suit on top of that. You could only stock a few of the highest end ones, pique some interest, and slowly add stock.
 

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