- 190 Smith St.
At this point, EPH Apparel – which was recently named the fastest growing company in Manitoba – would fit right in among any Canadian city’s major fashion destinations.
But its latest move was mere blocks away from its local historic building roots to a new, larger location in the Antares building at 190 Smith St.
“We’ve been downtown, we’ll always be downtown,” reasons co-owner Alex Ethans. “It fits our brand. Our customers work down here and they’re willing to shop down here.
“(Smith Street) was more visible – it’s going to put us on the map.”
Started in Winnipeg by a trio of local Asper School of Business grads: Ethans, Andrew Parkes and Maciek Hunek, EPH continues to see the most success locally, due largely to its longevity here, plus its head office and storefront presence.
Enjoying early success with a winning model of custom formalwear met with affordability (with garment construction sourced to Shenzhen, China), EPH can be credited for outfitting many of Winnipeg’s wedding parties in well-fitting suits, and for the dapper businessmen seen strutting the downtown walkways.
In its seven-year history, EPH has watched the custom clothing trend catch on with its competitors, though it sits comfortably at the top of the heap, continuing to offer the most affordable custom product in Canada. Perhaps they could afford to rest on their lapels.
But that just wouldn’t be EPH’s style.
Working away on a sophisticated algorithm with the help of an IT consultant, EPH will soon roll out a fashion metric able to ascertain someone’s size by asking just five simple questions.
Aiming to make online custom suit shopping a breeze, EPH has drawn on its 30,000 large customer base to design the algorithm and predict someone’s sizing within the same margin-of-error of its onsite tailors.
EPH will also process all orders in-shop from an iPad moving forward, removing space for human error, speeding up the order process, and streamlining the customer experience from the website to the shop.
As if this weren’t enough, EPH is managing 40 direct salespeople across Canada, allowing them to achieve a national presence while keeping expansion costs down.
On track to add a second storefront in Calgary in 2017, EPH is poised to continue its impressive track record for growing. It earned top honours for a Manitoban company while enjoying 1,393 per cent growth from 2010 to 2015, selling its clothing internationally and running its direct sales, online and retail programs.
From a clothier that started with humble beginnings (hosting fittings out of the owners’ living rooms), expect EPH to continuously elevate its game and fine-tune ways to reach and satisfy more customers in Winnipeg – and everywhere else.