10 November 2014
Charles Tyrwhitt was founded as a mail order company in 1986 while the founder Nicholas Wheeler was still a student at Bristol University, because, he says, he thought he could make a better shirt than anyone else.
In 1997, the company opened its first store on the iconic Jermyn Street, London, famous for its part in the history of British shirt-making. The company has since expanded from making gentleman’s shirts to suits, shoes, knitwear, accessories and womenswear, via an unsuccessful foray into children’s clothes.
Charles Tyrwhitt (also known as CT Shirts) focuses on well-made British clothing. Most of its items are sourced and made in the UK, including shoes, suits and jackets, in addition to Italian-made ties and knits. The company was the first Jermyn Street maker to offer customers a “slim-fit” shirt (these days they also offer an “extra-slim fit”) and customers can now customise their shirts, jackets and trousers.
It’s now a £160m turnover business that employs more than 700 people and has a significant presence on the internet and on the high street.
Here, Nicholas Wheeler offers his tips on getting your customers to love you and sticking to your business guns.