Menswear business Moss Bros will trial a revamped version of its made-to-measure suit service in November.
Moss Bespoke, which launched into 50 stores in 2010 but now sits in 25, will be renamed Tailor Me in an attempt to bolster its sales.
The offer will be similar to Moss Bespoke - which provides a suit from a block pattern and allows customers to choose the fit and style of their suits - but it will have “one or two tweaks”, said chief executive Brian Brick. He would not be drawn on the detail.
Moss Bespoke is priced at £295 for a basic suit, £325 for wool, £395 for cloth with cashmere and silk and £495 for the “deluxe” version, which is lighter and more finely-spun. They are delivered within eight weeks.
Brick explained that Moss Bespoke has “done ok”, but he felt there were opportunities to grow this side of the business.
Improving the hire business
Yesterday, Moss Bros revealed pre-tax profits were up 44% to £2.8m in the 26 weeks to August 1. Like-for-like hire sales were up 9.8%, compared to a 2.7% decline in the same period last year.
Brick said: “We’ve put a lot of effort into improving our internal systems and delivery proposition. We’ve replatformed hire online, adding the ability to do group hire. And we’ve introduced a lot of new product, such as lounge suits.”
Moss Bros launched three sub-brands for autumn 14 – Moss 1851, Moss London and Moss Esquire. All three are trading “very well”, Brick said. “Our own-brand product has really improved through the sub-brands. There is more clarity and a better [pricing] architecture.”
Third party brands such as DKNY, French Connection and Ted Baker also sold well in store and online in spring.
Over the next few months, Moss Bros will focus on becoming fully omnichannel, Brick said. It is in the process of recruiting a customer director to ensure customers have a seamless shopping experience.
In the meantime it has accelerated its store refit programme, bringing more of the planned refurbishments into this year. “The look and feel of the refurbished stores has made a big difference,” explained Brick. “We’re increasing market share. By end of next year we’ll have refurbished most of the stores we want.”
Moss Bros has also partnered with Retail Arabia to pilot two franchise stores in the Middle East. Brick would not be drawn on the opening date of the first, in Abu Dhabi, although he said it would be “shortly”. The second will be in Dubai.
“We think there’s an opportunity for the business [in international markets]. We started with Dubai because its retail is very strong; there is a big tourist/ex pat market,” he explained.