As someone who has been following Indochino for a long time, I find it very interesting to see how the business is doing today. One thing I noticed recently, are the overall negative reviews online for the Indochino brick-and-mortar stores. What happened there?
I guess to find out we need to look back in time a bit. The Traveling Tailor events came first. Indochino realised that many men prefer not to do every step online, they actually like to have someone to talk to and someone to take the measurements who has hopefully done it before. These events were pretty popular across the US and Canada and I think it removed a barrier for many customers. In theory, you only needed to go to an Indochino Traveling Tailor once and then simply order your next suits with the already perfect measurements online.
I'd love to see some actual numbers. Requested remakes/modifications on offline orders compared to online orders. Did Indochino gain additional customers & improve fit on the initial purchase?
In any case, the concept seems to have been so successful that Indochino decided on opening brick-and-mortar stores around the US and Canada.
How do these perform? I suppose they perform just fine, else they wouldn't open any new ones. However, the online ratings are awful. If you look through the Yelp reviews for the separate locations, they are rated around 2,5-3 out of 5. That's not a good rating by anyone's standards.
So how did this happen? I read most of the reviews and there the positive reviews are often by someone who enjoyed the experience, but hasn't actually received the suit yet. The negative ones complain mostly about the ill fitting product AND the customer service.
My best guess would be that there is a significant mismatch of expectations. If you do your research online and you place your order you probably know that your first suit won't fit perfectly fine. You will probably need a remake or alterations unless you have a model body with standard measurements, you didn't mess up and measurements and they didn't mess up any patterns.
Walk-in customers won't know or expect that, but the issues are still the same as with the online purchase. The Indochino stores look and feel fantastic, the expectations set are very high. Don't get me wrong, it's not that the product can't match these expectations, but the process to get measured once and then have the suit produced in China with no fittings in between still means that the suit maybe won't fit perfectly when it arrives - especially if your body doesn't fit with the standard fabric patterns.
Indochino Yelp Reviews Vancouver:
Indochino Yelp Reviews Toronto:
Indochino Yelp Reviews San Francisco:
Personally, I think that's where they need to educate customers instead of having to deal with a shitstorm afterwards. You have the customer already in your shop, with an employee you trained: find a sensible way of setting expectations regarding fit and delivery times. Indochino actually mentions on their website that customers will receive a second fitting once the suit is ready, but it seems this is not yet a satisfying solution.
TL;DR: Indochino has a great product, but a mismatch between offline customer's expectations set by great product presentation and final outcome. What's your opinion? Been to an Indochino brick-and-mortar store already?