Online custom suit retailer Indochino opens Gastown storefront

Indochino’s new Gastown store | BCBusiness
Indochino’s new Gastown store.

Indochino’s new streetfront stores offer one-on-one service

Vancouver-based custom online suit retailer Indochino launched a walk-in storefront at 159 Water Street in Gastown on Wednesday, closely following recent brick-and-mortar store openings in Toronto, New York and San Francisco. But Indochino, which lets customers order tailored suits online at bargain prices, insists it’s simply evolving, not changing.

“We never actually set out to build an e-commerce company,” says Indochino CEO Kyle Vucko. “It’s really all about making it easy for a guy to get dressed.”

Since founding Indochino online in 2007, Vucko had experimented with travelling tailor pop-up stores in various North American markets. “We heard a lot of guys wanted help after they got their garment, with how to style it, how to add things to their outfit, perfect the fit,” he says. Indochino sells shirts, ties, cufflinks and other accessories as well as suits.

It became apparent that, while some men love shopping online, others prefer buying in person. The latter tend to buy more expensive products, like to see and feel the merchandise and are used to a certain level of service. At Indochino, they are able to customize and personalize their purchase as well as confirm the quality of the garments. “Here you can actually see that, wow, for $500 I can get this very high-quality custom suit,” says Vucko.

Unlike a traditional retail outlet, the 4,351-square-foot space will stock no inventory. Men book 30-minute one-on-one appointments to get measured, select fabrics and receive style advice before building custom suits and shirts, with each garment made-to-measure and delivered four weeks later.

Items purchased in the store can be shipped to the store for pickup and a second fitting, as will online purchases. Previously online orders were shipped directly to the purchaser.

“I think in a lot of businesses it’s much easier to start online, but for certain products and categories, I think having a physical presence is really important,” says Vucko. “And apparel just being more touchy feely, being more subjective, what I think looks good, what you think looks good doesn’t necessarily always line up.”