The founder series:
Marcus Gårdö

Behind A Day's March In our founder series, we present the trio behind A Day’s March. CEO Marcus Gårdö tells the story about a lack of clothes to wear for a dinner party that turned into a strong business model.

In our founder series, we present the trio behind A Day’s March. CEO Marcus Gårdö tells the story about a lack of clothes to wear for a dinner party that turned into a strong business model.

Six years ago, Marcus Gårdö failed to find a qualitative, yet affordable, white shirt to wear for a dinner party. Instead of solely accepting it, he started sketching on a business model that would solve the problem – the key was creating an exclusive direct-to-consumer menswear brand, meaning it would solely sell garments in its own stores and online to keep down costs.

“The idea behind A Day’s March was born. If skipping wholesale, the company could skip the mark-up. This way it could offer high-quality clothes at a lower price than consumers were used to.” Gårdö says. He approached his acquaintances Pelle Lundquist and Stefan Pagréus to help him co-found what they in fact had all had been looking for, a menswear brand offering wardrobe essentials.

The result was A Day’s March, which after launching in 2014, quickly turned into a success for its timeless, wearable pieces with a big focus on sustainability, not only for its materials, but also for its quest to move away from trends, encouraging long-lasting wardrobe must-haves.

A Day’s March’ unique take has always been a strong business model. “We’ve always offered a purpose behind the product. While I’ve always been a business man and entrepreneur, Pelle and Stefan were behind the conceptualisation of the brand,” Gårdö says. “That also means we have very clear roles. I’m on the business side and Pelle and Stefan on the creative. We meet in the middle.”

Being in their late 30s and 40s themselves at the time, they could see men needed help with finding the basic staples (just like Gårdö had experienced). Today their customer base spans between all ages, but they can clearly see one standing out – a 30-year-old man who wants to shop smartly. “It’s a very conscious consumer. A young professional who works in the city in a job he cares about. The way he dresses is important,” Gårdö says, adding that they see a big change in behaviour due to the digitalisation. “In the noise of brands offering price cuts and discounts, our customer wants to understand what and how they shop. They are more concerned about what they buy. They look for quality rather than trends. We can see that this customer wants to shop in his way, both online and offline”.

Marcus Gårdö in Store No.1 on Kungsgatan 3 in Stockholm.

What would you say the biggest challenge has been so far?
- Getting into this, neither of us had worked with clothes and production. We made all the buying ourselves. It failed in the beginning. We thought we had made all the right choices when visiting our factory in Italy, but on returning home we realised the decisions were all wrong. We sold out on all the good products, and got stuck with the rest. We were out of stock, and hadn’t thought of doing reorders. We had a downturn right after the success, but managed to get on track by hiring the right people.

Have you learnt anything during these past five years?
- In the end, success is down to the quality of the product you are offering. I closely follow the development of physical retail vs online. The product and the company behind it, is often ignored. But if you don’t have a product that is 100 percent right, people won’t buy it, that’s it.

Where do you see the future of retail? And how does A Day’s March fit in to it?
- I don’t believe in the death of retail. A huge disruption is taking place and lots of players have to adapt. With the digitalisation, the customer can shop whatever they want, from where ever. This means that brands that don’t have a proper offer and product, compete worldwide. If you have a clear concept, on the other hand, the whole world opens up.


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