Hello chaps, welcome to the club: Stores embrace the silent revolution in menswear

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

Menswear stores are bringing out the big guns in their battle with online retailers – and that means on-site barber shops and billiards tables

While shopping passed from chore to enjoyable pastime for women years ago, for most men – whether they love fashion or see clothes as the only thing separating us from the animals – it remains something of an arduous task.

A supermarket-sweep-style trip around the favoured outfitter would no doubt suffice, leaving a happy shopper laden with jeans, shirts and jumpers without the need to grace the inside of a changing room.

So far, so familiar, but a silent revolution in menswear has occurred since the turn of the millennium as men’s fashion made its way out of the niche-interest category and into the consciousness of the modern man.

Regardless of one’s fashion credentials though, there’s no denying that some men just don’t see shopping as a pastime in the way that women have long been programmed to do. And, of course, the advent of the internet changed the way men could shop forever – enabling the complete restocking of a wardrobe in a lunch break. So in a landscape where online retailers are carving up the competition, and increasingly enriching their sites to compete with their bricks-and-mortar rivals, is it any surprise that those traditional shops are fighting back?

One way traditional retailers are manning the barricades is by offering tangible services and experiences that, no matter how rich their text, the online giants would find it impossible to match. One such venture is the recently opened Spitalfields store of gentlemen’s outfitters Hackett. As well as tailor-made suiting with Savile Row roots and hand-picked pieces from across the preppy, sporty and country casual lines, Hackett’s new concept store welcomes customers to make use of a billiards table and bar while mulling over any purchases. In addition to the young members’ club vibe that the store is attempting to create with mid-century modern furniture and vintage taxidermy, is a barber courtesy of the modern grooming brand Murdock.

If you are buying into a tailored look, it’s not a great leap of the imagination for retailers to see that you would probably want to be sufficiently groomed to match. Another illustrious British brand that has invested in offering more than just clothes to its customers is Alfred Dunhill, the venerable tailor that offers layers of luxury in Tokyo, Shanghai, Hong Kong and London. Over three floors of the Georgian former home of the Duke of Westminster, Bourdon House in London’s Mayfair, Dunhill attempts to cater to every need of the modern gentleman. As well as bespoke tailoring, overcoats and leather goods, a barber, spa and screening room are open to all. A cellar bar serves breakfast, lunch and an early supper, while a cigar humidor provides the finishing touch. The House is known to be something of a home away from home for the brand’s international clients.

While at one end of the scale Dunhill’s offering is the last word in luxury, it is far from the only retailer to attempt to enrich the customer experience.

Earlier this year, the casualwear brand Superdry took up residence at the five-storey former home of Austin Reed on Regent Street, in the basement of which is a listed art-deco salon. Designed and built in 1929 by Percy Westwood and Joseph Emberton, the salon was lovingly refurbished by Tommy Guns, a London salon chain established in 1994. Restored to its former glory, the salon now boasts original 1930s’ barber chairs and cabinets in gleaming chrome alongside Travertine marble floors and deco neon lights. As well as the salon, a gallery within the store showcases the hand-designed graphic T-shirts Superdry  became best known for, while in June the store was used to present a collaboration with the tailor Timothy Everest during London Collections: Men.

Something of an extension of the pop-up phenomenon that has rocketed in recessionary times, by using  expensive commercial space wisely brands are able to diversify and retain their customers – and their disposable income – while at the same time building a multi-faceted brand that can be used to tap into markets that continue to overlap as time-poor shoppers look to make every moment count.

Hackett: 75-77 Brushfield Street, London E1 6AA; 020 7377 5393

Murdock: 020 3393 7946

Alfred Dunhill: Bourdon House, 2 Davies Street, London W1K 3DJ; 020 7853 4440

Superdry: 103/113 Regent Street, London, W1B; 020 7440 5100

Tommy Guns: 020 7734 5700

Arts and Entertainment
The cast of The Big Bang Theory in a still from the show
tvBig Bang Theory filming delayed by contract dispute over actors' pay
England celebrate a wicket for Moeen Ali
sportMoeen Ali stars with five wickets as Cook's men level India series
Morrissey pictured in 2013
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
peopleGuitarist, who played with Aerosmith, Lou Reed and Alice Cooper among others, was 71
Robyn Lawley
i100  ... he was into holy war way before it was on trend
Arts and Entertainment
High-flyer: Chris Pratt in 'Guardians of the Galaxy'
filmThe film is surprisingly witty, but could do with taking itself more seriously, says Geoffrey Macnab
Life and Style
food + drinkVegetarians enjoy food as much as anyone else, writes Susan Elkin
Life and Style
lifeDon't get caught up on climaxing
Life and Style
Arts and Entertainment
Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe), Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron Weasley (Rupert Grint)
newsBloomsbury unveils new covers for JK Rowling's wizarding series
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Fashion

    1st line call logger/ User access administrator

    £9 Per Hour: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Warrington a...

    Shine Night Walk 2014 - 'On the night' volunteer roles

    Unpaid Voluntary Work : Cancer Research UK: We need motivational volunteers to...

    Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable & Accounts Receivable)

    £23000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Accounts Assistant (Accounts Payable...

    Senior IT Trainer - Buckinghamshire - £250 - £350 p/d

    £200 - £300 per day: Ashdown Group: IT Trainer - Marlow, Buckinghamshire - £25...

    Day In a Page

    Save the tiger: The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    The day America’s love of backyard tigers led to a horrific bloodbath

    With only six per cent of the US population of these amazing big cats held in zoos, the Zanesville incident in 2011 was inevitable
    Samuel Beckett's biographer reveals secrets of the writer's time as a French Resistance spy

    How Samuel Beckett became a French Resistance spy

    As this year's Samuel Beckett festival opens in Enniskillen, James Knowlson, recalls how the Irish writer risked his life for liberty and narrowly escaped capture by the Gestapo
    We will remember them: relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War

    We will remember them

    Relatives still honour those who fought in the Great War
    Star Wars Episode VII is being shot on film - and now Kodak is launching a last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Kodak's last-ditch bid to keep celluloid alive

    Director J J Abrams and a few digital refuseniks shoot movies on film. Simon Usborne wonders what the fuss is about
    Once stilted and melodramatic, Hollywood is giving acting in video games a makeover

    Acting in video games gets a makeover

    David Crookes meets two of the genre's most popular voices
    Could our smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases via Health Kit and Google Fit?

    Could smartphones soon be diagnosing diseases?

    Health Kit and Google Fit have been described as "the beginning of a health revolution"
    Ryanair has turned on the 'charm offensive' but can we learn to love the cut-price carrier again?

    Can we learn to love Ryanair again?

    Four recent travellers give their verdicts on the carrier's improved customer service
    Billionaire founder of Spanx launches range of jeans that offers

    Spanx launches range of jeans

    The jeans come in two styles, multiple cuts and three washes and will go on sale in the UK in October
    10 best over-ear headphones

    Aural pleasure: 10 best over-ear headphones

    Listen to your favourite tracks with this selection, offering everything from lambskin earmuffs to stainless steel
    Commonwealth Games 2014: David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end

    Commonwealth Games

    David Millar ready to serve up gold for his beloved Scotland in the end
    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup 2014: Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings

    UCI Mountain Bike World Cup

    Downhill all the way to the top for the Atherton siblings
    Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

    The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

    A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

    Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

    How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
    Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

    He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star