Harry Rosen tries on a new look for the discount shopper

From the C-Suite newsletter: FinalCut is a platform for an under-served customer: men seeking bargains on luxury fashion.


By Will Novosedlik

While observing customer behaviour on its ecommerce site, the folks at Harry Rosen noticed something interesting.

There was an increasing number of customers who appeared to be hunting for a deal, but also wanted quality. Seeing this trend gain momentum, Ian Rosen, EVP of digital and strategy, and his team at the men’s retailer began to wonder if they had the product to satisfy this hunter-customer and if they were in a position to build a digital experience and a brand around them.

Enter FinalCut, which offers top-tier, online luxury menswear in Canada with up to 60% savings on luxury brand ticket prices. Aimed more at a younger demographic than the parents typically associated with the brand, FinalCut is able to do this by focusing on last-season merchandise that is still stylistically relevant but, for whatever reason, did not sell through.

Much like when the brand first started adding things other than suits to its assortment, the move into discount shopping might seem out of character for the high-end retailer, but like that previous diversification, is being made in response to customer behaviour. Or, in this case, would-be customer behaviour, as FinalCut removes what might be a major barrier to purchase for some shoppers.

“We were watching the frequency with which some of these clients were shopping and checking for specific things, what pages they were going to,” Rosen explains. “So we said, why don’t we make this much easier for them? Why don’t we build a visual experience with that in mind?”

The teams also spoke to customers, asking them what they were looking for when they were shopping and what it needed to feel like. Turns out they were not only looking for a bargain, but for that feeling of surprise and excitement that a hunter experiences when he suddenly encounters his prey.

“Our ultimate objective is to be able to deliver that feeling every day’” explains Rosen. “We’re not there yet, but the vision is that there should be a reason for you to come to FinalCut on a daily basis.” Luxury bargain hunters will experience surprises from brands like Bugatchi, Canali, Cucinelli, Zegna, Versace, Tom Ford, Eton and Maurizio Baldassari. Merchandise will also include exciting new brands that are exclusive to the online property and that are not available at Harry Rosen or The Outlet by Harry Rosen stores.

FinalCut will initially support its new brand by building an email database, leveraging social channels for messaging and promotions and by partnering with likeminded brands such as Style Democracy, which also caters to customers who are looking for daily deals.

From a strategic perspective, most of the emphasis will be on building FinalCut as a standalone brand, but the presence of an endorsement by Harry Rosen on the home page means the quality assurance will be there. The name has a more contemporary feel than its parent and is a clever play on the idea of “final markdown.” It also has a nice association with the art of filmmaking – not an inappropriate reference for a fashion brand.

FinalCut’s focus on serving the more price-conscious consumer is the latest digital initiative Harry Rosen has taken to modernize its brand, which has included being more responsive to trends and changing demand, particularly with younger customers. It has also featured extensions into new product areas, like men’s grooming.

To help develop the creative and retail strategy for FinalCut, Harry Rosen partnered with Jackman Reinvents. RB Communicates is handling public relations and corporate communications.