I opened The Shirt Store’s doors for business for the first time on May 15, 1987, with a firm idea of what I wanted it to be — a U. S. designer, manufacturer and retailer of men’s 100% cotton shirts, dedicated to quality in both product and customer service. I would offer my customers variety in fabrics, collar styles, and sizes at reasonable prices. If we could live up to our motto of “Affordable Excellence,” then customer satisfaction would surely follow.
As we celebrate our Eighth Anniversary, it is safe to say that we have achieved our original goals. Today, The Shirt Store has more than 15,000 customers, and those customers have helped us achieve sales increases every year — even through the recession. Why do these customers keep coming back? Maybe it’s our wide selection (70 different sizes, from 14 x 32 to 181/2 x 37), collar styles (seven) and fabrics; maybe it’s the way we taper shirts for customers who want a closer fit (we don’t do the easier darts that most stores do – we actually open the seams and taper the entire shirt); maybe it’s services such as changing collars and cuffs on aging garments(sometimes a different label). In short, we believe that we have to do what it takes to satisfy our customers.
From day one, we’ve tried to be trendsetters, not followers. We have designed and produced our own distinctive line, and in the process have given the customer choices in ready-made shirts that had previously been available only to the “custom” shopper. For example, we pioneered the “Gekko” a horizontal striped shirt, and have brought the rounded spread “Riley” collar into the traditional wardrobe by offering it in basic fabrics and in a wide size range.
We also offer full-custom-made shirts that are second to none in quality and craftsmanship. Starting with an individualized paper pattern, we take it to sample for further adjustment, and then to final garment.
Our Mail Order Division is off to a flying start, sending customers swatches of fabrics which are available in their individual sizes.
We also wholesale to other stores, especially smaller retail operations which, on their own, could not afford the quality of shirt that The Shirt Store manufactures.
And we’ve just launched two new marketing programs. The first is our Basic Dozen subscription service. It provides a way for our customers to be sure they always have the basic shirts they need, at even greater savings, and without ever having to place an order or come into the store. The second, our Shirt of the Month Club, brings an even wider variety of styles and fabrics to our customers, at really substantial savings. Limited to the finest quality fabrics, it makes a great gift.
Finally, we have established a Broadway “connection,” having manufactured shirts for the Broadway shows Grand Hotel, The Will Roger’s Follies, Penn and Teller, Carousel, An Inspector Calls, The Phantom of The Opera, A Christmas Carol, Sunset Boulevard, Show Boat, and Victor/Victoria. All this in just eight years — and our price range for fine cotton shirts is still the lowest in town: $37.50 to $87.50. With this book, I wish to give my all-important item of clothing — the shirt — its fair recognition, and make my all-important consumer knowledgeable so that he can put his best shirt forward in his business and social environments.