To London's Regent Street, an eight minute walk away from Jermyn Street, the alleged shirt capital of the UK - and a swift visit to the new Charles Tyrwhitt shop. Inevitably there was an offer on.
I've never been a fan of the ongoing offer in retail. When I was a child there was a company called Queensway - I think they sold carpets, but whatever it was there was a constant "Big Q Sale" (so called because there was never a big queue outside the stores, I imagine). DFS is the same now for sofas.
And Charles Tyrwhitt, I'm afraid, is becoming one of those companies like T M Lewin which gives the same impression for shirts. At the moment - you can possibly just about make it out in the photo - Charles Tyrwhitt is selling shirts at four for £100. TM Lewin is doing roughly the same and I've no doubt all the other shirt makers are joining in. The problem is that it gives out the idea that the items were never worth full price. I can't remember the last time I paid the RRP for a shirt, and I certainly don't recall receiving a catalogue or going to a website without an offer on.
Guys, if you want to charge £25 for your shirts that's fine. If that's the fair price you've arrived at and it's going to be that for most of the time, then great - just make that the RRP and your customers will understand. But as a customer I'm getting really, really tired of these permanent "offers" so many of you are adopting - they stopped making any difference to my buying decisions ages ago when everybody else joined in.
End of rant. It's a welcoming shop, on two levels and with helpful staff. Shirts range from formal to casual and don't be too put off by phrases like "slim fit" - if you're not actually potbellied this can be quite a flattering cut even if you don't count yourself as "slim" - it's more of a tailoring term than an accurate description of the customer, although I find the ones over the road at Austin Reed are just that bit too snug (ie I look ridiculous in them).
The new Charles Tyrwhitt shop opened in Regent Street last week - all existing branches remain open and are unaffected.