In its first month of online e-commerce operations, TheCustomShop today announced that custom shirt sales via the Internet in October doubled the monthly sales of its highest volume traditional store. The custom apparel retailer sold nearly 3,000 shirts at last month, versus over 1,400 for the leading store location at Rockefeller Center in New York City.

The new shirt re-ordering feature at highlights a broader strategy by the firm to leverage the Internet in several ways that make shopping for clothes easier for time-constrained professionals and executives. In January 2001, it will also launch a custom garment "configurator" that enables customers to design their own high quality suits, shirts, sports coats, and trousers on-line.

"A 15.1 per cent customer response rate and 3000 orders far exceeds our goal for the first month, but this is really just the beginning - we will be making a host of exciting improvements to our website in the weeks and months ahead," said Gary Bonner, TheCustomShop's executive vice president of technology.

"The secret to our web-store success is that it is not just an online catalogue," added Sam High, director of web development. "It is a convenient portal to our service team, and a value the consumer can't get elsewhere: quickly delivered, accurately fitting custom apparel that they can design themselves."

About TheCustomShop, Inc Founded in 1937 and based in Houston, TheCustomShop operates 52 stores in premium locations in 21 markets across the country, as well as two production facilities. A new management team took control of the company in February 2000 and began introducing web-based technology into the production, marketing, and ordering of custom clothes.