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Achtung! British shirtmaker sews up German market

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“The Germans can’t get enough of British first class two-fold cotton shirts, cut for the perfect fit, with crisp collars and cuffs with brass collar stiffeners,” says Charles Tyrwhitt founder Nick Wheeler. “All in classic fit, slim fit or non-iron. British tailoring is clearly of increasing appeal.”

After the UK and the US, Germany has become the largest sector for the Jermyn Street shirtmaker, which has stores in London, Cambridge, Manchester, Paris, New York, Singapore, Madrid and Kuwait. “Interestingly, we don’t even have stores in Germany,” says Wheeler. “That’s purely mail-order driven, largely by the internet.”

Turnover at Charles Tyrwhitt is £60m. Germany accounted for 21 per cent of total sales last year.

The proportion of web sales is growing fast as the German market becomes more web savvy. Now over 55 per cent of the German orders are coming via the website, up from 40 per cent a year ago.

“On average, Germans spend 20 per cent more than UK customers," continues Wheeler. "They are particularly keen on Charles Tyrwhitt’s formal shirts and traditional English shoes."

Related articles:The Germany challengeEntrepreneurialism can be tough in Germany

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