But first, a bit of background with a quick round-up of our first two years:
We say: "Come on guys, why don't we launch the clothing brand that we've been dreaming about? Beautiful products, made to last and that don't cost a fortune? Hot."
We find the way to do it, it's pre-ordering. We don't produce anything unless it's sold. No middlemen, no stocks, no unsold clothes, the only way to sell a quality product at an affordable price.
We launch our first product on Ulule, the Perfect Pullover. 2,500 pre-ordered in one month, we're blown away and itching to get this story, that looks as if it's going to be mad, started.
Our second product is released, the Raw Shirt. But this time, directly on our website freshly developed for the occasion. Result, 600 pre-ordered on the first day. What the...?
Fast forward to June 2018:
10 launches, 30,000 pre-orders and 15,000 customers later, we think about how create the next part of our story and for that, we ask ourselves quite a lot of questions. Should we produce more stock to satisfy people who don't like waiting? Release more products at the same time? Only do pre-orders? So,we begin a series of tests to find the answers and offer you the brand you really want.
After six months of tests, more versions of the e-shop than you could shake a stick at, and a continuing dialogue with you to find out what you like and what you don't like so much, we validate the next part of the project: Asphalte, is first and foremost a new-generation brand. We're here to change things, with an excellent quality-price ratio and a different way of producing and consuming. To make that happen, we really feel that we need to keep our offer simple and get back to our roots. We're here to make men's lives easier, not to make them more complicated.
In other words: f*ck the stock, long live pre-ordering.
So, we will continue to produce a small amount of extra stock so you can change sizes if you need to and we'll always have some stock available on the site after we've shipped everyone's orders.
However, the stock levels will be minimal to avoid overfilling our warehouse and so we can concentrate on managing exchanges and returns. So don't rely on it too much. If you like a piece of clothing, we can only advise you to pre-order it. What's more, you'll receive it earlier, as well as paying less for it. We think that's the smart option, but it's up to you.
More good news, the delivery times. Yes, because after two years of sorting out the teething problems and trying out all kinds of ways to get the production to work, we should be able to deliver your clothes faster. We're aiming at four to six weeks for the first people to pre-order and eight to ten weeks for the last. We can't guarantee that we'll manage it straight away, but we're doing everything we can to get it going as soon as possible. Anyway, we know how to do it now.
The day after
To be honest, we're really happy to be able to share our decisions with you because pre-ordering is a model that we truly believe in as a team.
We're pleased to be able to tell you that at Asphalte, almost no clothing will be produced before it has been sold. And we honestly believe that's the best way to build the fashion of tomorrow. High-quality, affordable fashion that respects people and the planet. It's common sense really, but it's always a good idea to remind ourselves why we do things.
OK, we won't hold you up any longer, but having told you last June that we would be doing a few tests, we thought it was important to round things off by telling you which road we're going to take. And we hope that you'll pass the message on.
Any questions? Then, feel free to leave a comment below and we'll reply ASAP.
If not, well, have a drink.