The Chapar was founded by 25-year-old economics graduate Sam Middleton and his retail uberlord Dad, Joe Middleton, former president of Levi Strauss Europe and current chairman of luxury sports brand PlayerLayer, in 2012.
The young business turns clothes shopping on its head: a team of personal stylists pre-selects a trunk of clothes based on the customers’ tastes and ships it directly to their door step. Customers select the items they want to keep and return the rest free of charge within ten days. It’s organic veggie boxes, but for posh clothes.
Customer knowledge differentiates The Chapar from other online fashion brands, say the founders. Initially, customers fill out an online questionnaire during the registration process. Stylists follow up with a personal phone call, gathering more customer information – from shirt sleeve lengths and favourite colours to their professions and wives’ names.
With links to customers’ Facebook pages, Twitter accounts and LinkedIn profiles, stylists can gather additional background to increase product success rates.
In just 12 months, the company has grown by 650 per cent and has already broken even, with its customer base doubling every three months. The Chapar has just under 2,000 customers. As for the future, the Middletons are already looking to extend The Chapar’s services to women.
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