See inside the new private showroom at Master Debonair in East Boldon
Successful menswear retailer Master Debonair has unveiled a new private showroom as its one-on-one service proves popular with customers.
Like many formal wear retailers, Master Debonair was affected by the season of cancelled weddings, proms and events due to coronavirus.
But because weekends are no longer fully booked with wedding party appointments, it’s allowed the retailer, which also offers casual wear, a chance to focus on building its personal one-on-one service.
Around £20,000 has been invested in a new showroom, which has opened in former residential space above the main shop in Station Terrace.
Although still available for groomsmen fittings, some of which are done remotely through a Facebook portal, it’s also becoming well used as a private showroom and fitting room for their personal styling and bespoke tailoring service, where customers can come in and design their own suit.
Managing director Simon Whitaker, who founded the business with wife Eve, said: “At Master Debonair we’ve always been about creating an experience for our customers and this has really helped build on that. We had a private showroom at our warehouse in Boldon Colliery but there you had to come through an industrial estate, whereas here you can get the full Master Debonair experience.”
Simon says many customers are now looking for a more bespoke product.
“We’ve always stocked a range of sizes, but some of the bigger or taller guys might struggle with regular size suits and shirts,” he said. “Over the years, our customers have always been guys that don’t just want a plain navy suit from Marks & Spencer, they want something a bit more out there.”
The price point has increased from £205 as a starting price for an off-the-peg three-piece suit to from £370 for a custom-made suit, but Simon says the price has not affected the popularity of the service.
Although they have been able to maintain consistent online sales during lockdown, the pandemic meant Master Debonair had to close its Spitalfields London store due to lack of footfall in the city.
Another sister site in Chesterfield, however, has proved successful and has recently moved into bigger premises.