In an overcrowded menswear market, there is no point in being a ‘me too’ menswear manufacturer or retailer. Differentiation is key. While price is often the driver behind the way consumers shop, there are many cheaper garments that offer between a bit to nothing. Similarly there are overpriced garments that offer a classic style in the ‘Stratosphere Brands’ and this is driving retail customers away. However, it doesn’t have to always be about price, it can be more about realism within a price point in combination with the many features that the garment offers.

Customers can be fooled once but not twice and good customer service is a factor in success for manufacturers and retailers. Not only must retailing staff present well, but also have the appropriate enthusiasm to pass the product knowledge from manufacturers on to the consumer. Staff need to talk about the fabrication, style, cut, washability/durability and advantages for example, and all the factors that sets a garment apart. They also need to know about the fit of all their collections. Garments need to have a purpose and functionality, if customers like it enough to take to the fitting room, they need to know about the right fit for them prior to ensure the sale isn’t lost.

“Often, I have found that customers listen to the youth that have passion about the industry,” said Geoff Alcock. “They are out there, I well remember when I was 20 I followed fashion passionately, and still do, and those 20 year olds are still out their keen to get into our industry. Some working in the industry seemingly have lost their passion and don’t know what to do, the problem lies in that youth don’t have the wherewith all to finance retail.” For this reason, we should be blending youth with experience to ensure our industry has a strong future.

Major chains like Brisoces, Kmart and The Warehouse advertise and keep advertising, this is something that Alcock believes is something independents need to consider how to get behind. “It is almost like standing in the middle of the road and expecting not to get run over. If retailers want to advertise to promote our brands in store, we will help in whatever way we can.” Retailers should get on the bandwagon and fight in the market, for the generations to come if you are looking out your front window those walking past won’t be naked! Interested in talking to Lichfield?

For more information contact or phone 0800 333 369.