Nick Wheeler first had the idea for Charles Tyrwhitt shirts – to make the best shirts, using only the finest materials, at great value, with unbeatable service – whilst studying Geography at Bristol University in 1986;. He used his middle names – Charles Tyrwhitt – more anonymous (and better sounding!) than “Nick Wheeler shirts” The first brochure was a one-page leaflet with 8 shirts and 8 ties. After a stint with strategy consultancy Bain & Co, Nick went “full-time” in 1990. He financed the business with a lucky gamble on an Aston Martin DB1. It quadrupled in value in a year and the business was up and running.
Success was steady, but the leaflet grew to four catalogues a year. This led to the opening of a shop on Jermyn Street in 1997, a website in 1998 and overseas expansion with stores in Paris (2001) and Madison Avenue, New York’s (2003). There are now 44 stores worldwide.
The product range has developed from just shirts and ties to suits, shoes and a full casual offering. Today the business is a multi-channel retailer and a leading British brand. The company continues to grow rapidly internationally with sales of £220M in 2018.
Charles Tyrwhitt’s mission today remains true to Nick’s founding principles – to provide quality and value, and to deliver them to the customer with unrivalled customer service.
Nick is also a non-executive director of The White Company. He is married to Chrissie Rucker, founder of the White Company. They have four children and live in Oxfordshire.
Nick was awarded an OBE for services for retail in December 2017.