Kashif Qazi, Owner of denim retailer Utter Nutter in Romford, Essex.
I love denim, that’s a fact, but us boys don’t have many options when it comes to legwear and only have the choice of trousers, sweatpants or denim.
So why don’t more menswear retailers concentrate on that part of the industry?
The denim business is huge and lucrative if you have the right selection of fits, washes and brands. But independent retail buyers treat it as if it’s just another T-shirt.
It takes time to build a denim customer. It takes depth of knowledge and product and it takes effort to educate staff in all aspects of fit and feel. But once you are there it is an easy product to sell, and at more than £100 per pair it can rescue many a dull day.
Shopping centre retailers don’t sell it well as they are after short-term sell-throughs and a new look every week.
Even denim brands with their own standalone stores entice shoppers in with their clothing collections at the front of the store rather than showing off their denim.
This leaves a huge gap for us indie jeanswear retailers to convert these customers into our own, just by displaying the product properly and investing correctly in fits, washes and sizes.
It seems too many indie retailers are following the trends of the high street and selling short-order tees and sweats and so on, when everybody else is doing the same. In following these fast-moving trends margins can be hit when styles go out of fashion, and sell-throughs will be affected if you are offering the same thing as everyone else. Dare to be different and carve out your own space on the high street.
Fits are changing fast; we had the carrot, now we have carrots in slim, straight, regular and loose shapes. The one common denominator is that they are all tapered, some are just looser than the others.
All denim brands are not the same. Ask them for more fits, washes and better prices - you may be surprised at what they aren’t showing you.