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Charcoal & Chalk makes London debut

High street supplier Buxton Pickles is planning to expand its retail business after opening a tailoring shop in London’s Covent Garden called Charcoal & Chalk.

The 1,500sq ft shop in Floral Street sells ready-to-wear tailoring under the Charcoal & Chalk label. Prices range from £295 to £495, with made-to-measure suits for £495.

The tailoring uses fabrics from the likes of Savile Row fabric manufacturer Holland & Sherry. All ready-to-wear suits feature working cuffs and there is also an alterations service.

Charcoal & Chalk managing director Austen Pickles, who was previously sales director at menswear supplier Berwin & Berwin, said: “Margins in manufacturing are very tight and are getting tighter, so we decided to go into retail as well because the margins at retail are so much higher. But there’s no point in being middle-market – it’s all high-quality tailoring and customer service. We’re not turning our back on manufacturing, we’re spreading the risk.”

The Charcoal & Chalk concept launched at designer outlet mall McArthurGlen in York last year. Pickles said he hoped to roll out more stores and concessions, and would consider launching the range for wholesale at a later date.

Buxton Pickles supplies mainly womenswear to the likes of Hobbs, Next and Ted Baker.

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