Fashion

Interview with Pini Krimalovski, General Manager of Leibovitch Men’s Outfitters

 

 

leibovitch-snip

Why Leibovitch?

We are the largest retail chain for menswear in Israel and the only retail chain that provides a full tailor-style service, without actually custom-making the suit for you. We have a wide range of items in every department and an unrivaled standard of service in-store and after purchase. This enables us to offer our customers an entire wardrobe of clothing and fit each item as if it was tailor-made just for them. All our items have guarantees and some of our stores offer customers repairs by our in-house tailors.

Even though we’re a large company with many branches, we focus on giving customers personal attention and making them feel comfortable during the process of selecting and fitting a suit or other item of clothing. We welcome new customers as if they are family or royalty and greet return customers like old friends, by name. We understand that customers have busy schedules so for their convenience we have extended opening hours from 10:00am until 8:30pm all year round. We also believe in a pleasant buyer experience and stock only top quality products.

How many stores does Leibovitch have nationwide?
We currently have eight branches and plans are underway for a few more. We currently have three stores in Jerusalem – one in Geula, a second in Romema on Yirmiyahu Street (250 sq.m of floor space) and a third in Givat Shaul on Kanfei Nesharim Street (150 sq.m of floor space). Other stores are located in Bnei Brak, Ashdod and Kiryat Sefer, and six months ago we opened a branch in Haifa, which followed the opening of the Beit Shemesh branch about 18 months ago.

Why Beit Shemesh?
Beit Shemesh is an interesting mix of every sector of the Israeli population with large communities from each sector. So even though other men’s outfitters were already operating here, we felt that we had the product range, stocks and service-orientation necessary to address the diverse population. For example, when a local kollel wanted to purchase a full wardrobe for its students, we were able to provide them with the quantities they required of each item. We strive to establish real long-standing connections with the various communities.

We also identified a niche in the growing Anglo and European sectors of the Beit Shemesh population. This type of customer appreciates superior customer service, buyer experience and high quality products. We even have a dedicated English-speaking salesman in our Beit Shemesh store to cater for Anglos and visiting guests.

So who are your typical customers?
Actually, it’s unpredictable. On the one end of the spectrum are the various religious communities for whom we cater on a large scale in all our branches countrywide. On the other end, we have many non-religious customers from the big cities (and in the case of Beit Shemesh, neighboring moshavim) who visit our store looking for high-quality casual and formal clothing.

We also cater to the needs of the Arab population, who wear colors and styles that we don’t sell, for example, in chareidi circles, but which are popular among that sector. Many foreign tourists return again and again to order a new suit every time they visit Israel – sometimes straight from the airport.

Tell us a little about your clothing range.
We sell suits, shirts, pants, socks, belts, ties, shoes and more – for adults and children. Customers can walk in and purchase items that fit on the spot without having to send them for alterations. If we don’t have the size or style you want, we can order it from another branch.

We have an enormous range of suits which go up to size 70 in three different lengths – short, long and extra-long. Shirts in every color, fabric and fit are available up to size 21. Pants can be purchased alone or as part of a suit, and are even available with chutznik style pleats. We often have requests from customers for a few pairs of pants or a number of different style pants in the same material to go with their suit jacket, and we’re happy and able to oblige.

We also sell double-breasted suit jackets, blazers (we have had customers ask us to remove the signature gold buttons while others have asked to replace the plain buttons with classic gold ones), bekishes and kapotehs, around 300 tie designs per season, 110 types of winter neck scarves in season, belts with buckles or straps, shleikes (suspenders), chassidishe shirts, and more.

So basically, youre a one stop mens shop?
Yes, especially in the case of a large family or family simcha. We can provide customers with the same item in multiple sizes for different ages. We also have a dedicated events department where a 3-year-old before his chalakeh, bar mitzvah boy or chatan can be outfitted with their entire simcha wardrobe, including identical suits (in various sizes) and accessories (e.g. ties or bowties) for the entire family or entourage.

Is there any item of clothing you dont sell?
Hats. Leibovitch came from a long line of tailors and we believe that we should focus on what we do best. We understand the clothing industry – a button needs to be in exactly the right place, otherwise the shirt won’t fit properly. So we focus our time on giving attention to detail and we channel all our resources into improving what we do best. We employ designers and image consultants and insist on only top quality products and raw materials.

How long has Leibovitch been dressing the men of Israel?
We started out with one small modest store in Geula about 50 years ago, which still exists today. The store was opened by Tzippy, an immigrant of Romanian descent, in 1969 and then her two sons continued in the business. Now I am the third generation manager of Leibovitch. Our Bnei Brak branch is also one of our longest-standing stores, with generations of fathers and sons all purchasing their suits from the same store.

Some of our regular clients were and are Gedolei HaDor who visit us annually before Rosh Hashana to order a new suit or bekishe. These include the Rosh Yeshiva of Yeshivat Ponovezh, Rav Gershon Eidelstein, Rav Aryeh Finkel zt”l and Rav Berel Povarsky, just to name a few.

Weve heard about your superior service. What makes your products superior?
We only work with high quality suppliers who use the best raw materials, and we constantly strive to be industry leaders with trending styles and innovative fabrics.

We use only genuine ivory buttons in our home collection shirts, and unique stitching methods that prevent wear and tear on the fabric. Bamboo is an interesting new material that is being increasingly integrated into clothing. We stock Bagir shirts with bamboo which makes them durable and rip-resistant.  We also import socks from Canada that are made with bamboo which prevent holes from forming and inhibit sweating.

Most of the suits in our adult department come from internationally renowned Israeli suit manufacturer, Bagir. The Bagir factory in Kiryat Gat provides shops all over the country with tailored suits and other menswear, and also produces and exports suit collections for well-known British retailers such as Marks and Spencer and Simon Carter (machine-washable lines). Bagir knows how to make suits and we know how to speak the language of the consumer market. So we teamed up with Bagir to offer customers a wide variety of suits manufactured under the Bagir label and under our own premium labels.

The common “thread” throughout all suits in our adult department is that they are made of at least 50% wool. Some are even 100% wool. Wool is a superior material, especially for the hot Israeli climate. Other synthetic materials fade in the sun, but the wool threads themselves are dyed before the fabric manufacturing process so the fabric retains its color over time.

All styles in our adult department also come in children’s sizes and are marketed under the Fabio Ferretti label. We have special children’s departments in our Beit Shemesh and Kanfei Nesharim branches.

All our suits and coats undergo strict shatnez checks before they go onto store shelves and are individually stamped with a shatnez-free certification. We invest $250,000 per year on shatnez checking to save our customers time and money.

What are todays most popular trends?

Easy care is the key word. Today the biggest trends are suits that are made out of machine washable material and shirts that don’t need to be ironed. Washing your suit like any other item of clothing is easier and cheaper than dry-cleaning and they stay cleaner for longer. You basically just wash and go. Similarly, our Stefano shirt collection requires no ironing, which eliminates that stage of the laundry process.

Standard colors of gray and black are always in style, but we also keep up with the latest trends by offering customers a wide range of new and innovative designs every season. We are constantly turning over our stock so that no design sits on our shelves for more than a couple of months.

Whats your busiest time of year?
Winter is definitely high season but we also see a lot of action around Bein HaZmanim, Chanukah, Pesach and the Yamim Noraim.

In winter we stock around 50 types of suits and jackets in every color and style. We have an enormous range of rain jackets and coats, made of either wool or cashmere. The winter collection goes onto the shelves right after Sukkot. But the purchasing is done an entire year in advance so that we’re ahead of the game and able to set the season’s trends instead of follow them.

I still get excited every season when I tear open the first box of merchandise to see how the styles we ordered turned out.

Whats it like to be the biggest in the industry?
The pressure is constantly on. We have to live up to our reputation and keep on reinventing the wheel. But we know we provide a unique shopping experience in the menswear industry and seeing satisfied customers coming back time and again makes it all worthwhile.

 

Yerushalayim 
Yirmiyahu 58
Kanfei Nesharim 22
Malchei Yisrael 20
 
Beit Shemesh
Nachal Nitzanim 8
Bnei Brak
Rabbi Akiva 123
Ashdod
Yeshuat Chaim Shopping Center, Rova Zayin
Modiin Illit
Mercaz Illit, Yechezkel 2
Haifa
Orlozorov 7

 1-599-500-455

 

1 Comment

1 Comment

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