Founded in 1992, Roderick Charles is a retailer of classic men's tailoring. Since the early days the independent retailer has expanded to nine standalone outlets located throughout the City of London, the West End and Battersea and also offers mail order via its website for customers around the UK.
From its roots in bespoke tailoring, Roderick Charles offers a full ready to wear collection with an emphasis on traditional styling and the use of hard wearing British milled cloths. The retailer caters for the best traditions of English dress rather than following trend led fashion.
The company's clothing range has evolved to encompass the latest modern cloth and garment production, including high twist travel cloths. Managing such a wide range of stock is challenging for any retailer, but in particular one with a network of stores. From the early days, Roderick Charles invested in Eurostop retail systems to ensure stocks are monitored and replenished across its London outlets as well as meeting demand from its website.
Anthony McIlroy, of Roderick Charles said; "We offer a choice of over a thousand cloths to customers, which is a significant capital investment and so it is important that we maximise the turnover of our stock.
"Eurostop's systems help us to keep track of and manage our stock efficiently. We originally selected Eurostop as we felt they were a proven supplier in the retail business and the software was right for a clothing retailer like ourselves. Over the years we have expanded the number of stores, with Eurostop systems providing the software for our retail store network."
Systems made to measure
Roderick Charles' business provides both off the peg suits, jackets and shirts as well as a bespoke suit service, where customers can choose from the many samples of cloth. Roderick Charles has implemented both Eurostop's e-pos for the shops and e‑rmis at its head office. As well as capturing daily sales in store, the system is also used by the warehouse team to replenish and re-order stock across its stores.
Although not tied to the highs and lows of seasons and fashions as many clothes retailers, it is still important for the company to monitor sales of different lines, whether particular shirt styles, suit colours or accessories. Seasonal changes and particular holiday periods often result in increased sales of lines – for example, wallets and scarves at Christmas and wash bags during the summer period.
"Eurostop's retail systems help us to keep our finger on the pulse of the business. Although we don't have to react as swiftly as a fashion retailer to changes in demand, we do monitor our daily sales very closely with reports from e-rmis, our head office system. Both myself and my head buyer are able to check which particular styles, cloths and colours items are more popular and use the information to predict our future sales and stock requirements," said McIlroy.
Cutting edge solution for bespoke suits
The success of Roderick Charles' business is reliant upon accurate forecasts that help to ensure the right orders are placed. The retailer does not rely upon wholesalers who have large pools of stock upon which to draw – instead each buying decision must be carefully made since stock is made to order.
"We place orders with our British manufacturing suppliers, which means we have to be sure that we are ordering the right items and the right cloths that will sell. Our lead times are quite long as we don't obtain stock from wholesalers, so it's really important that we have accurate sales data upon which to base our decisions," explained McIlroy.
"Traditional, quality clothing continues to rise in popularity, as many people are turning away from the short wear fashion items in favour of well made, long lasting classics. With Eurostop systems in place our business has continued to thrive and service customers even in these difficult times for retail," said McIlroy.