TM Lewin to focus on heritage and quality

There has possibly been too much focus on price by TM Lewin that has detracted from the quality of the products it sells, admits TM Lewin CEO Geoff Quinn.


Feel the quality

In an interview with Retail Insider he says the company still very much believes in its heavily used multi-buys that feature the likes of ‘4 shirts from £100’, but he is now also looking into the  brand equity of TM Lewin that will help him communicate the quality message to customers.

“We see some strong clothing brands out there selling products of a lesser quality than ours. We’ve never told people what we do as there was always this focus on price. International customers have always wanted to know the [TM Lewin] story but we’ve not told it in the UK. We want new customers so how do we take them away from Marks & Spencer? It could be that we need to talk more about our quality,” explains Quinn.

This price obsession across the industry’s main players has affected the home of shirt retailing, London’s Jermyn Street, where discounting and price promotion posters in many store windows have undoubtedly lowered the tone.

“It was not elegant and we’ve spent over £1 million to upgrade our Jermyn Street shop that includes removing the discounting posters. Charles Tyrwhitt and Hawes & Curtis will do the same hopefully,” he adds.

This potential change in brand positioning comes alongside some other major initiatives at the company as Quinn reveals the desire to attract younger customers – from the age of 18 compared with the current entry level for TM Lewin of 25-years – through a range of tailoring and accompanying shirts.

A trial of “super skinny suits at cheaper price points” was successfully undertaken and this will be followed up with some new ranges that will be “easy to look after and wash and be relevant to this younger customer base”.


Jermyn Street, London SW1

He clearly recognises there is plenty to go after because TM Lewin has only 1.5% of the tailoring market and 5% of the shirts sector. Work will also be undertaken with its womenswear proposition as the company investigates the most effective way of showcasing the offer.

There will also be a move to use direct mail more frequently. Quinn admits it had largely been replaced with online marketing through emails but the ongoing effectiveness of it as a medium to highlight new products means it will likely be used more often in the future.