Khaki Surfer is a cleverly conceived online menswear destination, where some of the UK’s premier independent stores sell historical one-offs or small quantities from premium labels such as Hugo Boss, Paul Smith, Paul & Shark, Armani, Etro, Gant, Ralph Lauren, Eton and many, many more.
The site is the brainchild of Daniel Cutler, whose CV includes stints with Gant, where he was UK Marketing Director, with time later spent operating as the distribution partner for Robert Graham and UK agent for Strellson and Eden Park.
The site is proving especially popular amongst those travelling abroad for work and leisure. ‘Whether you’re headed somewhere hot or cold we’re the ideal destination before you leave,’ comments Cutler. ‘You can put together a complete Designer wardrobe for a one week stay for under £200 which is simply amazing!’
‘We spent over a year putting Khaki Surfer together, we talked to retailers, and developed our own fully integrated system for processing, listing and managing stock, taking orders and shipping to customers’, says Cutler. ‘Now, at any one time we’re holding around 7,000 individual items across just about every category you can imagine, jackets, coats, shirts, knitwear, jeans, sports casual and accessories. A lot of noise is generated through social media and the FOMO phenomenon, with savvy shoppers regularly scouring the stock to unearth some truly astounding reductions and very occasional examples of extreme designer/buyer enthusiasm, the successful sales of which confirm that there is indeed a market for everything in fashion.’
‘Having worked both sides of the menswear industry, it became apparent that the increasing demands of prestige brands were severely impeding the ability of independent retailers to sustain profitably. The imposition for higher minimums, tighter payments and ever-expanding distribution, were all contributing to the increasing problems around unsold stock. Khaki Surfer provides a discreet safety net for branded products that have rotated through the retail lifecycle and then languish in a stockrooms, boxes & shelves depreciating by the day until they can be resurrected on a sale rail, presented to the same audience that rejected them a season or two previously!! Those depreciated garments represent latent profit and cash-flow, which given the current state of retail is very attractive!’
On average Khaki Surfer add around 300 new products to its website inventory every week. Everything is catalogued to make it easy for the end consumer to shop, edit and select by category, size or style, and with prices up to 70% off original retail it seems to have struck a cord with British men.
Since opening up for business in 2018 Khaki Surfer now works on behalf of over 20 premium men’s independents across the UK and has recently started taking on accounts in the US, growing their customer base at a rate of 20% every month. They’ve already had requests from clients to extend the offer into Womenswear but consider that there is still much potential to develop with Menswear.
‘I’ve worked for over 20 years with the majority of independents who are now using Khaki Surfer to dispose of surplus stock, so there is a keen sense of trust involved - and just for a change online is working in partnership with traditional bricks and mortar retailers to great success’, says Daniel Cutler, and it does seem he and his team have created a very effective resource which is going to benefit the UK’s increasingly style conscious [and price savvy] male consumer.
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