Written by Filips Birzulis

When mentioning Jugla - a micro-district on the eastern outskirts of Riga, the majority of Riga residents will first imagine monotonous Soviet apartment blocks rather than clothing stores. More than ten years ago, Ivars Bitmets decided that it would be a challenge to sell quality clothes at an affordable price in the neighborhood where he grew up, rather than further crowding the city center.
Focusing on high-quality but affordable men's pants and later offering products for ladies as well, the Bikšu Bāze store gradually gained a loyal customer base from Riga and other parts of Latvia, as well as from other countries.
The stunning mural, perfectly advertising the store and complementing the urban environment of the district, became a local landmark for both new customers, participants in bicycle orienteering, and amateur photographers. 😊
When the world suddenly turned upside down in March 2020, shops in Latvia were allowed to remain open during the spring pandemic phase, but people were very afraid of getting sick and the number of visitors decreased critically. "Since we place the highest value in our business on knowledgeable and skilled employees, we were forced to think about how to pay salaries and rent", store owners Ivars and Beata renovated their existing website into a full-fledged online business.
Anyone who has ordered clothing online knows that the biggest problem is getting the right size. Here, Bikšu Baze specialists used the experience accumulated over several years. In the early days of the store, it was necessary to learn the understanding of size and create its own universal system, because there were sales
factory scrapped models without size markings, as well as any marked model size, may vary significantly from manufacturer to manufacturer. Its owners, shop assistants, became experts in finding the perfect match.
"In order to notice and read the dimensions, the task is to be able to see the peculiarities of the human body and develop a methodology, instead of relying on what is written down. Then together with my colleagues we realized that the process can be written down and divided into data," says Ivars.
Several different Facebook videos were recorded, in which Ivars invites men to mark their height and weight in a simple questionnaire (no jokes😊) and to choose their style. place an order, receive the goods by courier or pick them up at the Jugla store.
The video went viral, and Ivars says that strangers jokingly use the opening words of the ad: "Hello, Gentlemen!"
Complementing this formula with the benefits of artificial intelligence, it clearly still works in both customer service and training new employees. The Bitmet couple is especially proud of the fact that they can often correctly fulfill requests and orders from very large or small people or people with special needs.
"We always ask for genuine feedback, and people are happy to respond," says Beata, "so we can measure the accuracy of our method and improve it even more. It has to be said that 95-97% of the time, customers say it fits perfectly. The small number of inconsistencies, however, is . Sometimes they should be recognized as our mistakes, from which we learn, but they also arise because people have carelessly specified their data, or the wife has ordered her husband and made a little mistake because she sees her husband even more beautiful😊"

Ivars says that Bikšu Bāze has overcome several big and small crises, it is doing well now, because it has managed to find new excellent employees and attract customers not only from all over Latvia, but also from other countries.

"We are for non-standard solutions, because each of us is unique. A person is not just data to be loaded into an Excel table," says Beata. "Months or years from now, we'll still be talking about pants — more styles, patterns, shapes, and more colors to choose from!"