The Idle Man is one of the fastest growing menswear companies in the UK with an online presence both ecommerce and editorial with an additional stand alone store. We speak with The Idle Man’s CEO and Co-Founder, Oliver Tezcan, to discuss the company, its future and why you should invest.
Visit our Crowdcube page to invest.
Could You Tell us About The Idle Man?
The Idle Man is an online retailer dedicated to young men who want to look good and need some inspiration to help them. Our ecommerce site has 20,000 active customers worldwide and our blog, “The Manual”, garners 1.5m unique visits a month making it the 3rd biggest menswear blog in the UK.
We sell approximately 100 third party brands, and recently launched our eponymous own label collection which has over 300 styles, generating 25% of total our revenue. Last but not least we have our Guide Store in Clerkenwell, London where customers can come in, try the pieces on and then make a purchase.
What Has The Investment You Received in Your First Crowdcube Round From 2015 Helped you Achieve to Date?
Compound growth of over 80% YonY is a pretty good place to start – the Crowdcube investment allowed us to invest in our content strategy and in brand marketing to build awareness of The Idle Man.
We were also able to bring our photography and tech functions in-house to really finesse our user experience. The site is almost unrecognisable from the last time we conducted our Crowdcube campaign.
You Employed 10 People When you Raised Finance in 2015, Has your Team Grown?
The team has now grown to 30 staff across head office and our store. The most prominent additions have been an additional Buyer to focus on our own-label, a Merchandiser to control stock, and a six-strong content marketing team who create and edit The Manual, which according to SimilarWeb data now received mores monthly visits than GQ.
How Would You Describe the Last 3 Years Compared to Your Projections and Plans?
Our growth trajectory has been all we could have hoped for, but we started from a lower base than we anticipated. In our early days we under-estimated the cost of acquiring a new customer (CPA) – we predicted on £8, and the reality was closer to £30.
Now we have learnt that lesson and the CPA is now £16 and falling fast. We have over two years of data under our belts now so it’s much easier to accurately forecast – our model has been rigorously stress-tested by our institutional investors and we are confident of breaking into profit in 2018.
What Do You Hope to Achieve With this Second Round of Funding for The Idle Man?
We would like to conduct more brand marketing. Channel 4 invested in the business in 2016 through a media for equity deal, so we have a credit line with them for TV advertising, which we feel is still the single strongest brand-building medium. Although the air-time is “free” we need to create an amazing advert, and invest in additional digital marketing to support it.
We are also launching our first international site in the US where we already generate about 15% of our revenue, and if that is a success follow it with Australia, France and Germany. Aside from that we want to build our product team in the shape of an own-label designer, spend some money on customer retention strategies, and invest in our systems to ensure we are all set to scale.
Other Than the Financial Backing, Have There Been any Additional Benefits of Being Backed by a Crowd of Investors?
Definitely – we have won lots of new customers, and have been amazed at how many people on Crowdcube already know our brand and have bought from us previously. Running a campaign is a great 360 degree review of your business plan – there’s a lot of informed investors on there who quickly hone in on any challenges so it’s invaluable to have that feedback and be able to act on it.
From the original round there are a couple of investors whom I still meet up with and have benefited greatly from their advice and experience.
Finally, What Would you Say are the Top Trends in Men’s Fashion for 2017?
Skinny jeans are dead, it’s all about looser silhouettes across denim and trousers, and jeans must have raw hems. Pink is a key colour across all categories. Technical sportswear is huge, but think “football hooligan” rather than “going to the gym”.
Why Are We Crowd Funding?
The Idle Man curates a 25-year-old fashion-conscious guys wardrobe. We sell clothes and accessories from quality brands at a price that won’t put a dent in the house deposit. Our blog provides tips and advice on different ways to wear everything we sell, as well as new music, top restaurants, fitness advice and city guides.
However, we want to grow bigger, faster and the money we raise with allow us to do this by continuing to expand our own label range and grow our business outside the UK.
As a business we have 20,000 active users and over 1 million unique monthly visitors to our site, a strong brand portfolio and a great team, we would love you to be a part of it.
Don’t miss out, invest now
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