2 Cents – a quirky men’s clothing store – is alive and well at Flanders Boutique Mall, writes Lee Currie.
After years spent in men’s clothing design and building brands, 2 cents clothing is Gary Halfpenny’s (pictured top right) latest project.
Flanders Boutique Mall in Mount Edgecombe has always boasted an eclectic selection of stores and restaurants. In addition to a woman’s clothing boutique, a number of the other shops have introduced clothing and accessories to their range, a refreshing change from chain store offerings. It was ladies only up until September when historical clothing retailer, Gary Halfpenny, introduced an option for men.
“Having had a spectacular history creating brands with Renzo Scribante, within the Rembrothers group portfolio, Renzo contacted me and mentioned a small space available in the mall and proposed a menswear retail concept,” recalls Gary.
It is a small space, but Gary says the size was perfect for an incubator type concept. “The shop is presented with a blend of history, quirk and an old school, men’s dressing room mentality. The product mix is carefully curated within the brands we carry, but the uniqueness is in how it’s co-ordinated.”
Why the name? “Forty-four years of men’s clothing design, retail, manufacturing, brand building, experience and Scott the wizard from The Curators, mustered up the name 2 cents. The idea of offering a specialist service, great enduring products conjured up the quirky saying, “Can I give you my 2 cents worth?”
“The difference shopping at 2 cents is about the brand package and how you work it. The brands that stand up at this juncture are Original Penguin, Nautica, North Face, Holmes Brothers (the home-grown local brand which certainly gets my support), together with the limited edition Marc Jacobs sunglasses and a really cool cross-over sneaker called Warrior. Since its introduction, Warrior has gained a rapid acceleration in popularity with both male and female. There are more premium brands on the cards but stocks are limited at the moment since ‘The Lurgy’ came to town.”
“Keeping stocks tidy in a small space is always a merchandising challenge, especially with visual appeal making such a difference,” says Gary. “Having spent 35 years travelling the retail globe, one of my passions was to study interior mechanics and practical retail design. There are tricks that one picks up along the way as well as advice from the retailers themselves. The aim is to present great staples, enduring products and a small sense of quirk in a marginal space. Oh! And if you’re looking to spoil someone special, enquire about our last-minute memory-making gift vouchers.”
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