Philip Start, eponymous owner of Mr Start, has worked in fashion retail for over fifty years. Beginning as a shirt sales man on the King’s Road in London, he has had a lifelong love affair with fashion which lead him to found several businesses — including Mr Start in 2008.
“I really like tailored garments but I don’t always want to wear them in a formal way” says Philip, who describes the ethos of Mr Start as modern men’s casualwear with an elegantly tailored edge.
Based on the corner of a busy street in London’s trendy Shoreditch district, Mr Start was supplying their own brand of sophisticated casual wear long before the hipsters moved in. Philip recalls how they were amongst the first shops in Shoreditch “Back then it wasn’t a retail area at all. It was just a grubby back street. The secret of retail sometimes is being first in.”
“Quality always has to be the premier thing that we concentrate on. Unless you have good quality everything else just becomes superfluous”.
- Philip Start, Founder, Mr Start
These days, Mr Start’s customer loyalty is built upon the quality of their service. “The personal service and the skills we have are born from many years of experience.“ says Philip, proudly. “Fitting a suit is a very personal experience. There are many little details to consider; buttons, linings, pocket details, how they’re going to wear the suit.”
The role of Lightspeed in the customer experience
Lightspeed’s Retail POS solution is providing the CRM capabilities that help Mr Start collect and track data. “We’re creating a better customer experience mainly through customer profiling.” explains store manager Karl. “Lightspeed allows us to attach a customer’s details to a sale so that in future we can ask that customer about their last sale.“
Having an easily accessible record of their customers’ past purchases means they can check their clients are still happy when they come back in and helps them suggest new relevant items. By knowing what their customers are interested in, Mr Start can accurately target their digital marketing to the needs of each customer.
How Lightspeed is improving efficiency
The inventory management system is also helping the small three-man team at Mr Start be more efficient. Karl looks genuinely relieved when he says “Lightspeed significantly cuts down the time it takes to do a stock count. Previously it would take us a week to count through the shirts. Now it takes us an hour.” They can spend more of their week focused on the aspects of business they are passionate about. “We've got a lot more time to spend with customers and a lot more time to spend on the creative process as a business.”
Lately, Mr Start have also been focusing on building their brand digitally. As an independent fashion label, being discovered online is very important to them. According to Philip, “As retailers you can’t just wait for people to walk into the store, people just don’t shop like that anymore.”
Karl manages Mr Start’s online channels and wanted to create an online “shop window to our store”. After several months of using Lightspeed Retail, he decided to start using Lightspeed eCom.
“We want someone to be able to come in our store or go online and look at our social media and know that they are looking at exactly the same brand,” says Karl. By integrating using Lightspeed to run both their retail point of sale and their online store, they can ensure their customers get a consistent experience.
Using a system that integrates the online store with the brick and mortar, also helps Mr Start get an overview of their total sales as a business. “It’s really key that the reporting is connected to our website so we can monitor sales. We can track what are our best sellers, what isn't selling as well and what we need to order.”