Born online, custom tailor Indochino has opened a flurry of physical showrooms in recent years. Learn more about the brand’s omnichannel approach to made-to-measure suiting and retail and review the details of their showroom in Washington, DC’s Georgetown neighborhood.
Before I begin, a disclosure: Indochino provided a suit at no cost to Modern Fellows.
From Digital Native Brand to Ominchannel Retailer
When I first met Indochino’s co-founder and then CEO Kyle Vucko back in 2013, the digital native Canadian menswear startup brand, which began life selling made-to-measure suits online, was just experimenting with new ways to get in front of customers.
Indochino was a pioneer in the online made-to-measure suit business, contributing to a technology-fueled golden age of bespoke and MTM options for men, and part of a group of innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age.
Kyle and co-founder Heikal Gani had come to Washington, DC with Indochino’s Traveling Tailor, a pop-up concept through which the company rented out temporary storefronts across the United States. These Traveling Tailor installations helped introduce the brand to new audiences and enabled customers who were wary of taking their own measurements get measured up by others.
These pop-ups by Indochino were also an early example of a digital-first brand experimenting with Brick-and-Mortar 2.0 retail and marketing concepts to cut through the digital noise and get in front of new customers.
Reviewing Indochino’s Showrooms
Seven years later, Indochino has made substantial investments in Brick-and-Mortar operations. As of this writing, Indochino maintains 51 showrooms throughout the United States and Canada.
Even more are in the works: Indochino told me that the company is continuing its showroom expansion, so if there isn’t one near you, by the end of 2020 there may be.
Today, around two thirds of Indochino’s customers order via the showroom, versus one third who order online.
That estimate, provided by Indochino, likely undervalues the importance of their showroom to their overall sales, however, given that some percentage of customers who ultimately order online begin their journey at Indochino’s showroom by getting measured or just generally getting to know the brand.
These physical storefronts allow casual shoppers to walk in off the street to browse fabrics and get to know the brand. They also allow customers to make an appointment to get one-on-one time with one of their associates.
I find it really important to be able to go in and get a feel for the physical products but also for the brand. I like being able to go into a store, feel the fabrics and talk to an employee who can tell me more about the company and provide advice on their clothing.
One observation, based on my experience at the store, is that it’s fine for casual shoppers getting to know the brand to wander in off the street, but it is important to make an appointment if you plan to get measured for a suit, shirt, chinos or outerwear or for a fitting to try on a suit that you have received.
I’d imagine, as a customer, that it would be pretty frustrating if you knew you wanted to get measured, or you brought a new suit with you that you wanted to try on, and you wandered into the showroom to discover that staff were busy helping others. Better to make an appointment in advance and block off time with a dedicated staff person to avoid frustration.
Look Inside Indochino’s Georgetown Showroom
I took the pictures you see throughout this article at Indochino’s showroom in Georgetown, located at 3030 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20007.
While the Georgetown storefront has been open since October, store manager Wil Flowers told me traffic has just started picking up in the store in the new year. It took shoppers a little while to start popping in off the streets, and for customers to start making appointments. Judging from the limited availability I saw online for new appointments recently, business has begun to pick up.
I really enjoyed my experience at the Indochino showroom in Georgetown. I loved being able to walk into the store and feel their suit fabrics, which are arranged like large scarves tied up throughout the store. It’s also really nice to be able to walk into Indochino’s showroom and get a feel for their ever-expanding product line-up. Indochino recently launched casual shirts and Chino’s and expanded its outerwear program. I was particularly fond of the overcoat sample I tried on.
The shop sits along a corridor of interesting menswear stores, from stalwarts like Brooks Brothers to relative newcomers Suit Supply and Bonobos. (Look inside Suit Supply’s Georgetown store, and review Bonobos’ Georgetown Guide Shop around the corner in Cady’s Alley.)
With the Georgetown store’s opening, three of Indochino’s fifty-plus showrooms now sit in the DMV:
- In 2017, Indochino opened its first store in the greater metro Washington, DC area in Tyson’s Galleria. a store in Tyson’s Corner.
- In 2018, the brand opened a showroom around the beltway in Maryland on Bethesda Row.
- In 2019, Indochino opened a new showroom in DC proper, in Georgetown.
While Indochino doesn’t have any immediate announcements forthcoming about additional expansion plans in DC, a spokesperson told me that the neighborhood is one of the company’s top markets.
They also aren’t done experimenting with retail concepts. In January 2020, Indochino partnered with the Hotel W Washington DC to host a pop up shop and reception near the White House.
What do you think of Indochino’s Georgetown Showroom?
Stop by Indochino’s Georgetown showroom the next time you’re in the area and check it out for yourself. Leave your views in the comments.
Pin Me Please: Inside Indochino’s Showrooms
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About JakeJake is passionate about exploring entrepreneurs' global journeys. He founded Modern Fellows in 2012 to get to know the entrepreneurs behind the innovative brands helping men dress sharp in the digital age. Jake has written about entrepreneurship, international business and/or fashion for outlets including Business Week, Forbes, Inc., Details Style Syndicate and Primer Magazine, and has provided analysis on international business for BBC Radio, NBC News, CNN and Time Magazine.
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