I was speaking to Simon Cundey, director at London's Henry Poole & Co, the other day and he mentioned some interesting things about how the Poole customers' interactions with the two hundred year old tailoring firm have changed over the past twenty.
Poole has always endeavored to make itself feel welcoming, like visiting a club, and, whether English, American or European two decades ago the typical customer came to see them about eight times each year. Airport security was less time consuming then, and the Concorde made trans-Atlantic day trips possible, if expensive.
Today's Poole customer orders the same amount of clothing - from one to twelve garments a year typically - but increasingly Poole either interacts electronically with them or comes to the customer. Half the firm’s revenue is generated by its visits to North America, continental Europe and Japan. That has caused Poole to become a lot better at getting its clothes right the first time, as any delay tends to require six months. But delays do not happen often. The fitting process has been routinized to the point where after the first suit’s two or three fittings subsequent orders are placed and the next thing you know it’s a ”Here it is sir” check with changes required fewer than 20% of the time.
Times have changed.
Photo: Henry Poole & Co
Click through to my new post, Ordering Your First Bespoke, on Forbes Lifestyle.