Tailoring etailer A Suit That Fits is moving onto the high street with the launch of a made-to-measure tailoring service in John Lewis.
The appointment-only service, which will open on April 26 in John Lewis’s Oxford Street store, will be located in a boutique area within the fitting rooms on the menswear floor and forms part of the retailer’s £8m revamp of the central London flagship.
John Lewis head of menswear buying Matt McCormack said the service is being launched in response to customer demand. “Bespoke suiting does not necessarily mean luxury price points and this is about putting it in reach of people who thought they couldn’t afford it. We will definitely look to roll it out into other locations,” he said.
Douglas Hood, former sales manager at Savile Row tailor William Hunt, said there is room in the market for both bespoke tailors and made-to-measure services offered by mainstream retailers because there is a difference in how both types of suits are made, with bespoke made in-house by a tailor and made-to-measure being made elsewhere after the easurements have been taken.
He said: “If something like this is going to work in a department store, then it will work in John Lewis because it has the right level of service to make it possible. Savile Row remains the last bastion of men’s-only fashion anywhere in the world and John Lewis introducing an in-store made-to-measure service is not going to change that.”
Prices for a suit from A Suit That Fits at John Lewis will start at just under £500 and production time will take between six and eight weeks.
Customers’ measurements will be stored on file to allow for easy reordering, while the fitting area will include iPads so customers can browse the range of styles and fabric.
A Suit That Fits co-founder Warren Bennett said: “The credentials associated with being in John Lewis are a big boost for us in terms of our credibility.”
John Lewis will also introduce new packaging and labelling to its own-label menswear from May, which will give customers information about the fit and history of garments. “We want to tell the story of our products,” added McCormack.