Jackal & Dare
Founders: John, Chris and Jason Faulkner
Launch date: November 2020
Category: Online men’s jewellery line
Here’s what you need to know:
Jason Faulkner, co-founder of men’s jewellery startup Jackal & Dare, said the launch of their business had been timely with the influx of online shoppers due to lockdowns and consumers looking for reasonably priced products due to the economic uncertainty brought about by the Covid-19 health crisis.
“As we offer cost efficient wedding bands with a much lower price point than traditional jewellers we’re seeing a lot of action there, especially as people are definitely looking to save money where they can right now,” Faulkner told Inside Retail.
“Since the official launch we’ve seen very consistent numbers, each week we’re growing as we become more established in the market, we’re definitely stoked with how everything has started sales wise,” he said.
Jackal & Dare offer lifestyle and wedding bands made with tungsten carbide and silicon, which according to Faulkner, are sustainable in nature so making the pieces has no negative impact on the environment.
Faulkner said they were thrilled with the positive reviews and feedback they had been getting from their customers as it had always been their vision to hone in on designer pieces with the lifestyle of the wearer in mind.
“We wanted our pieces to be suitable to a vast array of different audiences, ensuring that our pieces are able to be worn day in and day out,” he said. “Whether you’re a fitness fanatic, leading a go-getter corporate life or you’re an entrepreneurial disrupting machine, our pieces have been hand-forged for those who value the ability to express themselves through the accessories they wear on a daily basis. Both lifestyle bands and wedding bands.”
According to Faulkner, online retailing may be the future but they can really see a disparity on how online retailers communicate with customers compared to physical stores especially on solving problems, selling, adding value, etc.
“How can we create a long lasting relationship past the point of purchase,” he said. “Obviously this is harder to do with our online visitors as opposed to someone walking into a store, but it’s by no means impossible.”
“We need to think of our online stores as though they were offline retail. If a customer was to walk in what’s the first point of contact that we want to have? What do we want to convey to our online visitor about our brand? It’s definitely time to start thinking outside the box.”
While Jackal & Dare targeted Australia for its launch, the company plans to introduce its products internationally next year, starting with the US.
Faulkner said this year may have been detrimental to most businesses worldwide but they are thankful to have launched at this time. Since launching the site officially in November, he said they had been seeing more than 1000 visits per day.
“The e-commerce world has to be one of the fastest growing industries worldwide right now,” he said. “To be honest I think that Covid has accelerated the inevitable when it comes to online and consumer trends in the eCom world. This is a big reason that we’ve knuckled down and launched Jackal & Dare.”
Founder: Danny Charbonnet (founder and CEO)
Launch date: 2016
Category: Menswear underwear and apparel
Here’s what you need to know:
After mulling over how he had been shelling out too much for uninspiring, over-branded menswear, underwear and apparel with nothing more than soft fabric and fancy packaging, All Citizens founder and CEO Danny Charbonnet said he decided to create affordable everyday menswear garments with premium materials and dubbed his offerings “affordable luxury.”
Charbonnet said he and his team searched for the finest performance fabrics that are soft and lightweight yet durable and resilient.
“We believe that a pair of underwear shouldn’t cost more than a round of drinks,” Charbonnet told Inside Retail.
Charbonnet said it’s not only their painstaking attention to detail that attracted customers to All Citizens, he said it is also their unrelenting focus on customers’ needs that keeps them coming back.
He said many of the larger brands have lost the direct touch and interaction with their customers and have therefore lost sight of what their customers really want and need and that is something he and his team don’t want to do.
“I strongly believe that customer feedback is our strongest asset, and I will make sure All Citizens maintains that direct customer interaction so that we are always inventing and innovating on our customer’s behalf,” he said.
While some retailers may have found opportunities during the global health crisis, the first few months of this year have been challenging for All Citizens.
Charbonnet said they had to stop production and halt operations with their factories for five weeks earlier this year.
“We were in the middle of our largest production yet and were targeting launching several new items by summertime, but our factories were forced to halt operation due to government lockdown measures,” he said. “This left us with products sitting on the production line and delayed our launch timelines by months.”
Thankfully, he said, when they resumed production, they were able to launch new products in September.
He said his company was also at the early stages of planning a physical retail strategy, specifically pop-ups and new department store partners, but those plans were halted as soon as the coronavirus outbreak hit.
“I likely won’t explore these channels until early next year when we have more visibility into when the US Covid situation will subside,” Charbonnet said.
Charbonnet is targeting three expansion plans for the next few years: to further their growth in the US market to reach more customers; expand geographically first to Canada, then the UK, Australia and then Singapore; and offer their customers a wider assortment of game-changing products.
Charbonnet said they are also interested in exploring AR and VR capabilities and have already built 3D models of their best-selling products.
Spier & Mackay
Founder: Rikky Khanna
Launch date: 2010
Category: Menswear brand that allows guys to design their own custom-fit dress shirts
Here’s what you need to know:
The custom-clothing menswear retailer Spier & Mackay updated its website in May this year because it said it wanted to give visitors to the site a better and faster shopping experience.
Spier & Mackay creates custom clothing with an easy-to-use online portal for handmade dress shirts and suits. Instructions on the design process can be found on the site like picking out the fabric from about a hundred other choices and choosing the collar, cuffs and more.
“We’ve built our company around three key principles: fit, quality and value,” Khanna said. “Every product you purchase from Spier & Mackay is made with these three principles in mind. Only when we can produce a product that adheres to all three does it ever make it to our shop floor. It’s that simple.”
According to Khanna, the idea for the business started during a chance trip to a South Asian textile market
“We were astonished to find that we could directly purchase top quality dress shirt cloth from renowned European and Asian mills at wholesale prices,” he said. “We could then take this cloth and have a luxury custom shirt handmade for us by local tailors. All of this was done at a fraction of the cost we would normally spend for a poorly fitting, mediocre quality off-the-rack shirt back in Canada.”
Khanna said that was an A-HA moment, knowing that it was possible to produce and deliver the same high quality dress shirts at a fraction of the price.
“By bypassing the middlemen and delivering the products directly to the consumer, you can get the same (or in many cases, better) fit and quality the customer expects from a luxury brand for a price that finally makes sense,” he said.
Over the years, Spier & Mackay’s site has evolved. It started out with the following categories: suits, shirts, custom made to order and shoes. Now, the retailer has expanded its offerings to sportcoats, trousers, sweaters, outerwear, shoes and accessories, and they will continue to expand and add more, Khanna said.