Answer: It does. Though, look online and it’s clear that it’s strictly in spite of the brand’s web presence. Tie Rack's awkward and clunky websites undermine the brands more glamorous and sophisticated beginnings in England.
Despite the fact that today the brand is often associated with a gate number and delayed flight updates, the retail brand’s pedigree is tied to the very fashionable Oxford Street circa 1981, where Tie Rack’s flagship store is still located. It would be three years before the retailer would begin appearing between your flights, starting in a Glasgow airport in 1984.
While it always sold more than just neckties, Tie Rack’s true diversification began in 1999, when the Italian Frangi SpA Group purchased it. With Frangi’s line of products now in its offerings, Tie Rack began retailing a wide range of men’s and women’s accessories, from neckties to scarves to luggage in stores worldwide. Today, Tie Rack also offers a range of customizable promotional clothing and accessory apparel.
The first few years of this century saw Tie Rack experimenting with sub-branding particular collections, including one under the Frangi name. Additionally, Tie Rack recently invested in a years-long communications and marketing system overhaul aiming to improve efficiency in its worldwide stable of retail stores. Hopefully, these planned improvements include the brand’s consumer-facing websites.
Employing a hackneyed analogy seems appropriate here, so: If Tie Rack's web presence was a necktie it would be a clip-on. A polyester one.
If www.tie-rack.co.uk is to be believed, the site represents a brand consisting of 260 stores in 26 countries. This is not hard to not believe seeing as the site appears to have been designed by one of the store’s cleaning personnel on his lunch break. While the “how to tie a tie” and “how to tie a scarf” sections do fall into the purview of the brand, the stock photography (Huh? Lake Como, I mean really, Tie Rack?) is a bit cryptic to say the least. The photographs of the models are clearly not stock as no legitimate agency would represent such material. Yet the UK site is pristine when compared to the American oriented www.tierack.ca, which is difficult to comment on because it almost seems like it has to be a joke. It appears as if it were constructed by an individual just learning to make websites, in 1998.
This isn't to say that Tie Rack needs the bells and whistles of Flash animation or a logged-in experience or Web 2.0 or video or a create-and-dress-your-avatar-fop feature. But, for instance, the "how to tie a tie" feature appears to have been scanned out of the pages of Esquire, which runs the exact same diagram every three months.
Also, the last time we checked, "instore" was not a word, even in British English.