Business profile: Demain1953By David Millward
April 20, 2012
The business: Demain1953, 96/98 Oxford Road, Reading, RG1 7LJ. (0118) 957 1857. www.demain-menswear.com
Opening hours: 10.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday.
The boss: “I am Jonathan Ryz, owner of Demain1953. The business has been established in Reading for nearly 60 years and is a third generation family concern. I have over 25 years of experience in selling high-calibre menswear.
“My retail training was carried out in London, working for a host of specialist boutiques and stores in Bond Street and Knightsbridge.
“My father was a bespoke tailor, and on joining what is now my business, he taught me the many aspects of how a suit should fit. My grandfather also taught my father, so the expertise has been passed down through generations.”
What is your business about? “Exclusive Italian menswear and quality products that are unrivalled in Reading.”
What product/services do you offer? “We offer high-calibre menswear from Italy in a relaxed environment with personal service.
“Our ethos is about personal service, knowledge and craftsmanship. We also provide a made-to-measure service and can make an appointment with the client if they have a busy schedule, either visiting them or offering service out of shopping hours.”
How and when did you start your business? “The business was established in 1953 by my grandfather and remains in the same premises today. My grandfather and my father worked with English manufacturers, making bespoke suits on the premises. I joined my father in 1994 and we took the business to provide exclusive merchandise from Italy.”
How many staff do you employ? “We don’t employ any staff but my brother, who also has many years experience in selling menswear, helps out on Saturdays.”
What sets you apart from the competition? “We provide a wider and better stock and variety, including hard to find sizes; all suits are fully canvassed and hand finished in Italy; expert and honest advice; and more attentive service.”
How has the recession affected business? “The recession has reinforced the view that to succeed you need to offer quality products and high levels of service.”
How do you feel about the future? “The future remains challenging but also exciting. If you offer a special product in a friendly environment, it will always see you through good and bad times.”