Q&A with Dave Richardson, president & key buyer
Number of stores: 1
Square footage: 5,000
Year opened: 2000
Ted Vayos, BODY: Describe your store.
Dave: Skivvies is the world’s first and largest men’s fashion underwear store. We opened as an expansion of our men’s fashion clothing store, Out Lines. We found we were selling a lot of underwear and didn’t really have the space to put the styles and colors that we needed. It was a time when the basic lines like 2(x)ist, Calvin Klein and Hugo Boss were beginning to add more colors than just black and white, and a time when Tommy Hilfiger and Joe Boxer were introducing new “fun” underwear. Our landlord at the time had a small space, aprox. 2000 square feet, and offered it to us if we canted to open a second store on the same street with a different direction than our fashion store.
Basically, we were at the very beginning of the fashion trend and so called our store “Skivvies” with the tag line Men’s Fashion Underwear. That little store grew as space became available to the 5000 square ft. store it is today. Along the way we added workout wear, light casual fashions, including t-shirts, shorts, shoes and jeans.
Plus swimwear has always been our strong suit. We offer men’s swimwear year-round so that men can buy swimsuits for cruises etc. Actually most of the people who work in the big box stores at the malls know about us and when customers come to get a swimsuit in the off season, they send them to us.
Ted: What makes your store special?
Dave: Our store offers the utmost in selection and customer service. We stock over 25,000 pieces of underwear and a huge selection of brands and styles. Nearly every men’s underwear designer is represented in our store. Our closest competitor, only ½ block away doesn’t have the space to offer the kind of selection nor the customer service commitment to make it work like we do.
Ted: What do you look for in a brand?
Dave: We look for quality, unique design, and comfort. Those are the words I use most often on my website when describing our lines. We carry, 2(x)ist, ES, Addicted, Calvin Klein, Freedom Reigns, GO Softwear, James Tudor, Todd Sanfield, Good Devil, Manview, N2N, Pistol Pete, Timoteo, and Unico to name just a few. Plus we also offer our own signature line, “Skivvies”.
Ted: Describe popular styles or trends in your store.
Dave: The most popular lines feature great color combinations, ample pouch structures, comfortable fabrication, and forward reaching designs. We carry everything from regular briefs and trunks, jock straps, g-strings, specialty (erotic) underwear, thongs, and singlets. One of the fastest growing departments is the body shape wear designed to hold you up and in, and help enhance and display your best assets.
Ted: Describe your price points and size ranges.
Dave: We have underwear starting at $12 a pair all the way up to $45. The average price point is around $25-29.
Ted: What is your average customer size?
Dave: We sell medium and large the most.
Ted: What does the average customer spend per visit to your store?
Dave: The average ticket runs around $30-50.
Ted: Describe your customer base.
Dave: Our customer base is a mix of 70% gay and 30% straight males, ranging in ages from late teens to 70 or so.
Ted: What other information would you like to share?
Dave: After one season, our Skivvies line of underwear is really beginning to take off. We have it in several stores all over the country and it is being offered in some of the best online catalog sites. And our website is serving customers all over the world, including Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, Canada, and to our US servicemen stationed in the middle East.