Following a rebrand in 2014, Mike Quartly moved his Mt Eden suit hire company to Parnell, building the Suit Source name and developing into a fully equipped formal menswear retailer. Originally Exclusive Suit Hire, Quartly decided he wanted to shift away from suit hire, and instead focussed on developing his retail presence and Suit Source branding.
“I did my tenure in Mt Eden, and looked at moving to Britomart or High Street, but I’ve always liked the feeling of Parnell. The village environment while being so close to the CBD is great for business. Parnell and the Suit Source brand seem to fit perfectly. And it has worked, foot traffic has been incredible, my turnover has doubled,” said Quartly.
The move to Parnell has been instrumental in the development of Quartly’s retail business, who now trades almost 50/50 hire and retail, as opposed to 80 percent hire under the previous name. Quartly explained how Instagram has helped him reach a new audience of customers, being able to interact and draw interest in the store and is a firm believer in its effectiveness as a business tool.
“It used to be a personal account and I moved it to being a Suit Source account. It’s a really strong piece of technology for branding and advertising. Whether it be a dog I’m house sitting for, or a really stylish suit, it helps develop the brand image.”
Before acquiring Exclusive Suit Hire, Quartly started his retail career working for companies including Barkers and Working style, to which he identified a gap in the market for men in the middle who want to look great, have a tailored suit but don’t feel the need to spend thousands to get it.
“With suits these days, most guys are wearing one to work, so they’re going to need three or four in the closet. If you’re dropping thousands for a suit it gets really expensive.”
Quartly includes in his purchase price an unlimited number of alterations to ensure the perfect fit, removing the hidden costs from buying a suit.
“What a lot of people don’t understand is when you buy a suit, it does need to be tailored. You will look a lot better for it. I’m trying to take the hidden costs away, I want to make the customer look good.”
Although the Suit Source brand is still new, Quartly is already looking to bring new experiences to his customers and is currently in the process of developing a barber shop to run from within the store.
“Parnell has a lot of salons and I wanted to build a simple, no fuss, name on a chalkboard barber for local guys who need a hassle free barber. I just thought it’s such a cool space here, why not?”
While it may seem like the natural progression is to open more outlets, Quartly prides himself on being active with the customers and is happy developing a loyal following at the Parnell location.
“I like the cake I’m baking here, I’m happy with the store. I don’t want to be the big chain, it’s not the Suit Source brand, and I’m happy doing it. It’s a niche market, and I like to be close to the customers. I want them to be able to come in just to say hi.”