By Paul Pannone
The tuxedo business continues its efforts to climb out of a black hole they’ve been in since 2002, guided by grassroot industry movements; supported by limited available funds from manufacturers. eWedNewz is watching several programs and efforts in the tuxedos business that leverage technology to connect with consumers in search of new fashion products in their local market.
One involves My Fabulous Day, a program that promotes men’s formal wear to consumers. Kellie Gonzales Burch of MFD explains the purpose of creating the idea. “In today’s busy society, specialists must have the ability to extend the personal shopping experience beyond traditional brick and mortar establishments. Communicating your brand message on a consistent basis through multiple channels is key to long-term success in a richly competitive marketplace. In addition to web browsing, social media has become a way of life for today’s consumer,” says Burch.
Burch was recently in New York promoting MFD. While here she explained how important connecting with today’s consumer is, at their level. eWNz looked at several key components of the program that includes a national network for fittings and a phone app.
“We have one goal; promote a branded shopping experience that ensures retailer profitability through longterm industry success. It’s all about changing what we do and the way we go about doing it. Our passion is formal wear and seeing those who live within it succeed,” says Burch.
“Our passion is formal wear and seeing those who live within it succeed.” Kellie Gonzales Burch.
Innovation in the men’s formal wear category is very limited. In fact the men’s tuxedo rental business remains a lagging category in nearly all business aspects. A recent assessment by Yahoo Finance gave a bleak outlook saying an influx of cheap alternatives from abroad is a leading cause for the decline. Cost-conscious Americans opting for disposable options may be responsible for purchasing and not renting formal wear. Yahoo reference the decline in revenue last decade at -35.0 percent. They forecasted decline in revenue in the next decade at -14.6 percent. Forecasted decline in the number of establishments next decade may be -17.2 percent, according to data used by the Yahoo article.
“This is why we need to change the way we approach men’s formal wear; we can just sit around and hope things will get better,” says Gino Guanieri in Lexington, KY. I’ve taken a new approach and gone into the gown business to help drive my tuxedo business; they compliment each other and excites the couple instead of leaving it all to the guy,” according to a recent discussion with Guanieri in New York.
Both Burch and Guanieri understand perception and leveraging the most positive aspects of any challenged category, including men’s tuxedos. My Fabulous Day’s efforts uses the power of world-class brands including Calvin Klein. But beyond product discussions with manufacturers, retailers and consumers say the greater use of technology stands as the biggest reason for success– or failure– for the tuxedo business.
Other efforts driving the My Fabulous day engine also includes connecting with consumers before they take the walk down the aisle of life. ”We are so excited to have partnered with Atlanta’s Americasmart for this summers convention. Our meeting will be August 15 – 17, 2011 prior to the largest prom market in the country. Operators could plan to stay a day or two longer and take full advantage of Americasmart’s High Energy Prom Market and get a good feel for what’s new in tuxedos.
One advantage of partnering with Americasmart is their ability to help us market this show. This will be the most comprehensive formal wear meeting offered in our industry,” says Burch.
Billed as the most comprehensive formal wear industry meeting, the invitation goes out to tuxedo and bridal operators of all sizes, everywhere.
eWedNewz will watch the progress of My Fabulous Day along with the men’s formal wear business. So far we’re finally seeing some positive movement created by leaders in the business; not political rhetoric that helped drive the tuxedo business down into the ground and in its current state.
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