Introducing the first column by Evolve Menswear for Donegal Daily! Every fortnight, the experts from the number one menswear store in the north west are going to be keeping readers up to date on all the latest in men’s fashion along with advice on suits and dressing for special occasions. Here is the story of Evolve:
We opened our doors on October 9th 2008 in the new Letterkenny Retail Park. Ireland had just entered official recession! We had signed the lease about 18 months earlier, so we could not pull out now! Many business gurus always said opening a business during a recession is a good thing as it keeps you focused, so that is what we had to do to make it work as we owed money to many people for the set up!
In March 2010, Evolve moved premises just a few doors up, into a much bigger space. Many people said that we were crazy and it was a huge risk; and it was a huge risk! But we felt if we did not make the move to the bigger unit a competitor would establish a presence and then we would struggle to compete as a smaller store with a limited offering. We wanted to expand into Suiting and Wedding Hire as well as an offering for the more mature gent.
In the first few years we had to beg and plead to attain the bigger brands as many had exclusive contacts with other retailers and could not supply new guys like us. Over time we were lucky to build a strong relationship with the main agents and suppliers and we soon began to build the brand mix that we required. We now stock many of the leading brands around the globe from Tommy Hilfiger to Remus Uomo and from Hugo Boss to Farah. With over 40 brands in stock across casual wear, suits, footwear and accessories we are sure we can find what you are looking for!
Starting with just 2 staff in 2008, we now employ about 20 team members in Letterkenny and 4 in our Derry store; which we opened in October 2015. Although we opened the store when sterling was at an all time high it has proven to be a good decision and it has been growing from strength to strength since we opened. Although much smaller than our Letterkenny store it was important for us to open the store to further build our reputation across the border for our online store, and now with Brexit in full swing we are happy to have a location on each side of the border.
In 2012 we were honoured to team up with the Donegal Senior GAA team when they won the All-Ireland Final. This really helped up get our brand into every area of the county and further beyond. The guys on the team, Jim McGuinness, his backroom team and the Country Board were great and we owe a lot to them for helping us increase our recognition. We continue this partnership still today and we have created a lasting relationship over the years with the boys, management and board.
Last November we launched our online store at www.evolvemenswear.com and are working hard behind the scenes to get it just right before promoting it properly through Ireland, the UK and Mainland Europe.
Just last month we opened The Suit Bar on the first floor of our Letterkenny store. Stayed tuned to our column over the coming weeks for more the latest on The Suit Bar!
Over the last 8 years we have met many great people, staff, customers, suppliers and other stakeholders. We have built lasting relationships with them and we look forward to evolving even further over the next 8 years!
We are very excited now to partner with Donegal Daily, where we will bring you fashion tips, help and advice on our fortnightly column. It will cover all aspects of menswear.
If you would like any fashion advice just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be glad to help!
Kepp up to date with Evolve Menswear on Facebook: www.facebook.com/evolve.menswear