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Haberdash is shaking things up in the Windy City.
This story first appeared in the September 20, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
The Chicago men’s specialty store this month is launching a full e-commerce site and is segmenting its two stores to focus on more specialized merchandise offerings.
The 1,100-square-foot main store at 607 North State Street is being converted into Haberdash Bespoke and will focus exclusively on soft tailored clothing, luxury sportswear and dressy footwear. The Haberdash EDC unit, at 611 North State Street, has nearly doubled its selling space and will now concentrate on casual sportswear and footwear to complement its apothecary and accessories offerings. Haberdash EDC, which has 1,100 square feet on the main floor, acquired an extra 800 square feet by adding a previously unused downstairs level.
“We started with one store, outgrew that and added Haberdash EDC last November,” said Jerry Kamhi, co-owner. “Then we outgrew that too. So we decided to differentiate the two locations by focusing on the dressier merchandise at Haberdash Bespoke and opening the downstairs at EDC and moving our denim and other sportswear there.” In addition, he said, the barbershop at EDC will now be in operation five days a week, up from one.
The Bespoke location will carry both made-to-measure and off-the-rack clothing and furnishings. Its most successful vendor is LBM 1911, and it is adding Southwick for fall. The relocation of the casual sportswear to EDC is “a great way to call out that it’s more of a tailored store,” he said. Other brands include Alfred Sargent, Carmina, Drake’s, Gloverall, Hilditch & Key, Mackintosh, S.N.S. Herning, Scott & Charters, Tricker’s, New England Shirt Co. and Oliver Spencer.
The EDC store carries brands such as Baldwin Denim, Canada Goose, Filson, Gitman Vintage, Herschel Supply Co., Kelty, Levi’s Made & Crafted, Red Wing, Woolrich John Rich & Bros., Reigning Champ, Rogue Territory, Quoddy, Corgi, Todd Snyder and Wolverine 1,000 Mile.
Kamhi, whose retail background includes Bigsby & Kruthers, Knot Shop and Ringolevio, said the separation between the two locations is designed to provide more breadth of merchandise and appeal to a wider swathe of shoppers. “In some cases, it’ll be the same customer, but in other cases it’ll be different,” he said. “To stay relevant and grow, you have to continue to evolve your offering.” He said that while the stores are enjoying success, the marketplace, particularly in Chicago, remains “extremely challenging.”
In addition to the store conversions, Haberdash will launch an e-commerce site in about two weeks. The store, which was founded in 2005, also has a blog devoted to men’s style.