Fulfillment troubles fester at Combatant Gent.
Grooms and wedding guests have been left in the lurch. Customers, burned by the brand, have started raising pitchforks on Reddit. One disgruntled man is even threatening a class-action lawsuit.
LOS ANGELES — Grooms and wedding guests have been left in the lurch. Customers, burned by the brand, have started raising pitchforks on Reddit. One disgruntled man is even threatening a class-action lawsuit.
“It is unfortunate that Combatant Gentlemen has received so many complaints,” GQ’s Cam Wolf wrote late last week in something of an expose on the LA-based menswear brand’s recent fulfillment troubles, “because a cheap suit that’s decent quality is certainly something we at GQ would like to get behind.”
This affordable suit angle has been Combatant Gent’s M.O. since the day it launched in 2012. For the most part, that focus has served them well, but recently, things have been rocky. Orders have been delayed by weeks, and consumers have been both nervous and angry in equal measure.
One example of a scenario that’s become all too common with Combatant Gent of late:
“David Phillips tells GQ that he bought two suits in March, which he hoped to wear to a friend’s wedding in late May and to his own ceremony in June. He started to panic in May when he still hadn’t received the suit, and says he reached out to customer service, which he claims told him that his suits would ship soon—certainly in time for his friend’s wedding. Finally, he went with his backup plan before the May wedding and ended up purchasing a Men’s Wearhouse suit he wore to both weddings. He’s still waiting on his Combatant Gentlemen suit to be delivered (a UPS tracking number Phillips showed me says it should arrive Monday, July 17).”
There’s irony in all of this: Ironically, this is coming from a company that’s supposed to have its supply chain on lock. It boasts an in-house tech tool, called Tower, that’s designed to prevent this exact scenario. Based on our conversation with the company some months ago, Tower’s strength and purpose lies in its ability to predict the brand’s future supply chain needs. CEO Vishaal Melwani and CTO Scott Raio (who seemed, admittedly, to be genuine guys) told Lean Luxe that the technology was intended to be nimble, and to connect directly with its suppliers and manufacturers to create a nearly automated supply chain. Needless to say, those ambitions haven’t panned out as hoped.
Irony, Pt. 2: This is a brand that’s also extremely data- and tech-leaning. Across media, and in conversations, it’s made its reliance on data and technology a point of emphasis. Yet, it’s possible that in sorting through all this data it lost sight of what really matters for a product company: making sure customers get their orders — and that these orders are fulfilled within a reasonable amount of time.