Retailer of the Week
19 Jun. 2013
Dirk Schütt, owner of Gentlemen’s Skateshop in Aschaffenburg"On my opinion it is very important to concentrate on the retail side of things to make sure the customer is not falling back on the internet to buy his things. A familiar atmosphere and good counselling are indispensable” comments Dirk Schütt, owner and founder of the Gentlemen’s Skateshop in Aschaffenburg. Founded in December 2012 the shop focuses on a mixture of heritage brands and menswear, as well as skate supplies, offering brands like Brixton, Loser Machine with Dark Seas, DeusExMachina and Altamont. Interview by Maria Hunstig
Why did you open your store? Tell us the story behind it!
Until last year I worked in a classic skate shop having a lot of fun, but continually I've noticed that I couldn’t identify myself with the typical skate companies any more. I have always looked to other style directions. So I started toying with the idea of opening a shop that includes a mixture of heritage brands and menswear, as well as skate supplies. In other words: a shop for the older generation of skateboarders.
What is the most important ingredient for successful retailing?
In my opinion it is very important to concentrate on the retail side of things to make sure the customer is not falling back on the internet to buy his things. Familiar interaction and good counselling are expected by the customers who come into my shop. Familiar atmosphere is written with a capital F in our company. We want the customer to not only buy goods from us then leave, but rather they should get the feeling that they can talk with us over a cup of coffee or a beer. The experience of shopping with us should not be stressful. We look forward to everyone passing by, whether they buy or not or just say hello.
What are your current bestselling labels?
Currently bestsellers are definitely Brixton, Loser Machine with Dark Seas, DeusExMachina and Altamont. Of course they are also our preferred labels we want to sell successfully.
Is denim now an important segment for your store, why?
It will hopefully be very important for the future. Since we opened in December, our denim segment is still under construction. But our plan is to expand the denim segment so that the customer first comes to us looking for a pair of jeans before he is searching in other stores.
In terms of denims: Which cuts / shapes / washings / colours are most popular at the moment?
It is slowly moving away from the narrow form. There are two sections that have sold very well with us at the moment. On the one hand the tapered-style, where the jeans fits narrower from top down. On the other hand the narrow cut with a slight boot cut. Washing is not on demand at all. For the most part raw denim with selvage is bought.
Gentlemen’s Skateshop in Aschaffenburg
BrokenHomme!!! A company we are really pleased to have in our range from fall. These handmade boots manufactured in California totally reflect the philosophy of our store. Also there will be a new company available from our environment called Baptist B. They have very nice jackets and coats that are processed with high attention to detail.
Do customers search for their favourite brands and special styles, or do they buy spontaneously?
At the moment our customers search for their favourite brands, since we only stock specific brands and we are one of the few stores in Germany that stock these brands. We always ensure that our brands are very rare in Germany or even completely unknown.
Gentlemen’s Skateshop in Aschaffenburg
I'm inspired by everything and everyone like blogs, magazines, or the guy with the cigarette in front of the bar.
What do you think will be the key-pieces and trends for Autumn/Winter 2013?
Ethno I'm sure will last the summer and will continue to be seen in winter.
What does your shop have that others don’t?
It is not as crowded as other stores. The construction looks more like a living room rather than a typical retail store.
What do you like about your location?
I just like Aschaffenburg, it is great. I have actually lived here my whole life. It is like a big village, everyone knows everyone somehow. That is what I tried to reflect with the location, being a little outside, not directly on the shopping street. Customers come in, leaving all their shopping stress at the door, because they know that it is relaxing with us, comfortable and still professional. Just like the people here in Aschaffenburg - a little cozier.
How is buying behaviour changing – do people look for classics or specialities?
The mix runs. Classics never die, but the style-conscious customer mixes it with little details.
Do you have an online shop? Do you run any social media activities?
An online shop is currently under construction; these times it’s not possible without one. However, I do not want the online shop to overrun our business. A range of selected pieces we only offer on the internet would be nice. Furthermore, we are present on Facebook and Instagram.
Is there a role model for your shop? Any store – worldwide – which inspires you?
Yes, there is Riders Room in Hamburg, Burg & Schild in Berlin and Peter Fields. Even though my range and brands aren’t comparable with these stores, (I am too much attached to skateboarding) I think the design and setting of these shops is just great.
Phone: +49 (0)6021-8667891
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