Suitsupply hits store milestone
A Dutch menswear brand known for its affordable, expertly tailored suits and stylish vibe continues to expand its store footprint.
Suitsupply has opened its 100th store, on Newbury Street in Boston. The 9,000-sq.-ft., four-level store, the company’s 37th location in North America, reflects the brand’s destination location strategy and features a terrace where customers can relax and a cafe. The merchandise selection includes both off-the-rack and made-to-measure suits as well as separates and accessories. Services include on-the-spot alterations made by in-store tailors.
Founded online in 2000 as a vertically integrated brand, Suitsupply soon expanded into brick-and-mortar. It opened 27 new outposts in 2017. So far this year, the retailer has set up shop in Sydney, San Diego, St. Louis, Helsinki, Stockholm and Boston. It will open its first store in Frankfurt – and its sixth in Germany – this summer.
Moving forward, Suitsupply plans to continue to expand its physical footprint and grow its in-store and online business across North America, Europe and Asia. The company sees significant opportunity worldwide and expects the business will continue to grow.
“In a time when many brands are closing stores, we believe there is more growth ahead of us than behind us,” said Fokke de Jong, Suitsupply’s founder and CEO. “People are drawn to Suitsupply because of the energy and flair we bring to tailoring. They want to experience our brand and product both in person and online. We’re excited for the future and see much opportunity ahead.”
Click here for a video on Suitsupply.
RH continues to expand with showcase destinations; developing smaller model
RH (formerly known as Restoration Hardware) reported first-quarter earnings above Street expectations and upped its guidance as it continues to expand in high-end brick-and-mortar.
RH will open four new stores (“Galleries”) this year, with locations in Portland, Oregon (opened in March); Nashville, Tennessee; Yountville, California; and New York City. The latter three will include a dining experience.
The New York City site, in Manhattan’s Meatpacking District, will feature 90,000 sq. ft. of indoor and outdoor space, with a transparent elevator that goes up to a glass-encased rooftop restaurant with retractable doors that open out to a landscaped park. (Also in Manhattan, in summer 2019, RH will open its first-ever hotel, called RH Guesthouse.)
“RH New York provides us the rare opportunity, in arguably the most important city in the world, to develop a ground up retail experience like no other,” stated RH chairman and CEO Gary Friedman. “Currently, our plan is to open in September pending the city completing the infrastructure and street work that has been massively disruptive to businesses in the neighborhood.”
In addition to its expansive gallery locations, RH is developed a new, smaller-sized prototype that will range in size from 33,000 sq. ft. inclusive of a hospitality experience to 29,000 sq. ft. without one. The company expects the smaller galleries will enable it to ramp from three to five new locations per year, to five to seven. RH is also looking at global expansion.
“We also believe there is tremendous potential for the RH brand internationally, and we continue to explore opportunities to open our first Gallery in London,” Friedman said.
RH earned $28.1 million, or $1.11 a share, in the period ended, versus a loss of $3.4 million, or 9 cents a share, in the year-ago period. Adjusted for one-time items, RH said it earned $33.5 million, or $1.33 a share. Analysts had expected adjusted earnings of $1.01 per share.
Sales fell 0.8% to $557 million, less than expected.
“We articulated at the beginning of the year that we will be managing the business with a bias for earnings versus revenue growth in fiscal 2018,” stated Friedman. “We will restrain ourselves from chasing low-quality sales at the expense of profitability like many in our industry, and instead focus on building an operating platform that will enable us to compete and win over the long term.”
Looking long term, Friedman said he saw a clear path to $4 billion to $5 billion in North American revenues.
Friedman said that company’s effort during the past year to consolidate its distribution center network from four facilities to two while streamlining operations throughout its supply chain, has resulted in a “significantly more efficient cost and working capital model.”
“We believe this new model will prove to be a long-term competitive advantage that will separate and distinguish RH’s operating results for years to come,” he said.
Displaying his signature bravura, Friedman noted that the strategies RH is pursuing — from opening the largest specialty retail experiences in the industry to continuing to mail catalogs to moving from a promotional to a membership model — are in direct conflict with the plans many other retailers are currently undertaking.
“We believe when you step back and consider: one, we are building a brand with no peer; two, we are creating a customer experience that cannot be replicated online; and three, we have total control of our brand from concept to customer, you realize what we are building is extremely rare in today’s retail landscape, and, we would argue, will also prove to be equally valuable,” he said.
First Look: New retail concept aims to be the holy ‘grail’ for sneaker fans
Sneaker enthusiasts—regular fans and serious collectors—are the target audience of Grail, a new retail concept financially backed by footwear retailer DSW Inc.
Launched in Vancouver (British Columbia), Grail offers an immersive retail experience that celebrates sneaker culture, art and community. The 3,100-sq.-ft. store carries a vast assortment of men’s and women’s sneakers from such leading brands such as Nike, Adidas and Puma along with a selection of hard-to-find niche global brands — some of which are exclusive in North America to Grail. There is also a smattering of accessories and shoe-care products.
The store has a sleek, high-tech feel. A digital clock is displayed in a front window, showing the countdown to exclusive, limited-edition sneaker drops. The entryway features a state-of-the-art, high-res LED ceiling with surround sound, creating a theatre-like experience for entering shoppers.
The interior pairs minimalist and textured design elements with technology. Sneakers are displayed on perforated steel panels on the slatted cement board walls. Exposed conduits and caged LED tube lights mix with liquid crystal wall projections that switch from clear to opaque in a moment.
At this time, DSW has no plans to open a Grail store in the U.S., a spokesperson told Chain Store Age, “but we’re excited to take a read on the Vancouver store and learn more about this audience.”