93 South Street, Romford, Essex
Who you need to know
Owner Kashif Qazi (left)
Brands include Bass Weejuns, Carhartt, Converse, Diesel, Edwin, Fred Perry, G-Star, Lee, Levi’s, Nudie, Penfield, Polo Jeans, Red Wing, Schott, Wrangler
In a crowded men’s denim market, Romford’s Utter Nutter stands head and shoulders above the competition.
The business started trading in Ilford, Essex, in 1990 before moving to larger premises in Romford nine years later.
From its inception, Utter Nutter has specialised in European denim brands and was one of the first stores to stock Diesel in the UK. While the product offer has been expanded to include, for example, shirts and jackets, denim remains at the heart of this store, with labels such as G-Star, Nudie, Edwin, Lee, Wrangler and Levi’s jostling for space.
Owner Kashif Qazi realised early on he would not be able to compete with the high street’s “pile it high” mentality, so has concentrated on buying in-depth to offer his customers the best washes and fits on the market.
The store attracts a fashion-forward customer and is often used as a testing ground for the more experimental mid-season styles by the likes of Diesel. Rigorous staff training ensures Utter Nutter customers leave the shop with their ideal pair of jeans, says Qazi.
When a new style or brand hits the shopfloor, Qazi holds training sessions to ensure his staff know the product inside-out. Talking to the customer and asking the right questions, right down to what shoes they like to wear, is the key to establishing what style will suit them, Qazi says: “You can get a man to try on maybe two or three pairs of jeans before he has had enough, so you have a very small window in which to get it right.”