This piece was originally published in the Sunday Business Post, 17th April 2016. Full story here.
BY ELAINE O’REGAN
A new Irish-owned webstore has gone live, selling stylish and sustainable wardrobe basics to shop-ping-averse men. Westmeath man Rob Galvin, who was formerly buying director with Galvin for Men in Mullingar, has invested €40,000 into the venture, Stór.supply.
Stór is an e-commerce platform that sells everyday staples city centre with a question-like socks, boxers and t-shirts individually and via a box subscription service, priced at €19.95 for one month or €39.95 for three. The company ships worldwide, with free delivery in Ireland and Britain.
“I had the background in men’s fashion retail, and I was used to seeing men who came into the shop and hated having to buy these products, just the hassle of it,” said Galvin.
“We went around Dublin with a questionnaire and we found that 68 percent of the men we asked don’t actually buy these products for themselves – it was their wives or girlfriends. But they didn’t exactly enjoy it either, so we saw an opportunity there for something more convenient ”
Galvin has designed the range himself using organic fabrics, and works with a manufacturer in Turkey which specialises in bamboo and organic cotton clothing.
“Sustainability came up when we were talking to people initially. We were asking them everything socks and boxers-related, and it came up quite early on,” said Galvin. “We got a very positive response to it, but only if all of the other boxes were ticked – the design and style had to be good enough, and the product had to be equal or better in quality to what they were already buying.”
He came up with the idea for Stór while taking part in the UCD Innovation Academy, an 18-week Springboard course in enterprise and entrepreneurship. “It was based around this lean start-up model, so you identify a problem and you’re encouraged to think of ideas in a very open way, and then you have to validate your idea, ” he said.
Galvin plans to build Stór’s customer base with online marketing initiatives on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, crafting unique content to draw a community of users.
“It’s creating unique content that keeps the shopper interested, ” he said. “We hope then to develop other products: a grooming range, say, or out-door gear, with the sustainable ethos. Eventually, that’s where we’d like to go with it: an overall lifestyle product. ”