Dutch menswear etailer Suitsupply has launched an on-demand personal styling service called The Box Office, which uses mobile and desktop chat functions.
Customers who sign up to the service can discuss their requirements with a Suitsupply stylist online or via its mobile app before they are sent a selection of suits. They then pay for what they keep.
The service will officially launch at the end of August, following a trial period.
“It’s a logical extension of our service,” explained chief executive Fokke de Jong. “Both online and in our stores, we want to develop personal relations with our customers so that we can accurately curate their style.”
Fokke de jong, ceo suitsupply 3
Suitsupply was founded online in 2000 and now has about 70 stores in 16 countries. The US is its biggest market, followed by Europe.
It plans to grow its global estate to 100 stores in the next four to five months.
The UK will not be a priority during this wave of openings, but Suitsupply is gearing up to expand here in the longer term. The business currently has three stores in the UK, all in London.
“We’re actively pursuing opportunities in the greater London area,” De Jong told Drapers. “There is a lot of online traffic coming out of London, so there’s room for us to grow. Our product does well in the UK.”
As well as eyeing prospective sites in the UK, Suitsupply is hoping to expand its store on Vigo Street, which is currently 2,940 sq ft.
“When we opened there [the area] didn’t have the same footfall it has currently – it was more of a destination,” De Jong explained.
He said there had been “no dramatic changes” following the UK’s vote in June to leave the European Union: “Like-for-like sales in the UK are still very positive. Would they have been more positive if there wasn’t a Brexit scenario? I don’t know, possibly, but we haven’t see a slowdown in growth.”
Suitsupply works with cloud service provider Salesforce to engage with its customers via multiple channels, including Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp, email and video chat.
It is experimenting with some form of automated customer service function, although De Jong emphasised that there would always be a real person in the background if needed.