By Paul Pannone
The endless discussion of pro renting or preferred buying a tuxedo has gone on for years. But because there were never any real options for men that wanted to own clean, fresh merchandise at an affordable price point over renting, the choices were limited; until now.
Last weekend FLOW Formal Wear launched a new retail program at three price points that make sense for the retailer and consumers that are in the market for updated fitting merchandise at great price points.
Ralph Lauren….. period
At the top of the FLOW line there’s Ralph Lauren; period. The name itself is reason enough why bridal shops, men’s stores and traditional tuxedo retailers– with a brain– would pony up a minimal investment to carry the line. Retailers that felt the fabric and understand quality marveled at the product and the simple, classic styling of the tuxedo and accessories.
The Classic, non-vented notch in super 120′s wool offers flexibility of a separates program; no longer limiting a guy with broad shoulders to baggy pants. In contrast athletes with big thighs can order whatever jacket fits with a bigger pair of pants.
Retailer James Gray of Ducky’s Bridal and Formal Wear told eWedNewz, “It’s been a while that the industry’s had a good retail program that looks good, is stocked and we can sell with confidence.”
Other retailers that started out in men’s formal wear and later added bridal dresses immediately connect with the Lauren brand. Roy Skibbe of Gipper formals in McHenry, Il, noticed the detail and waistband construction of the Lauren tuxedo. Skibbe told eWedNewz he worked for Gingiss, along with others that are still in the business.
“It’s changed dramatically over the years and I’m glad to see quality returning to our business,” he said.
Other tuxedo people attending the Chicago Bridal Market from other areas that did not want to be quoted said the product is the best they’ve seen in years. Some told eWedNewz they will be buying into the program to have a leg up on competitors renting old goods.
“You keep writing those stories about old tuxedos out there because I hear customers that come out of my competitors and are glad to spend more with me to either rent or buy. I carry new goods and it makes a difference,” some told eWedNewz.
Sources around the country agree there’s been a rise in retail sale of formal wear (tuxedos and accessories) over the past few years, as a new generation will gladly pay more for what they want. Sources that say they’re doing well are convinced you can’t give away products to today’s consumers they don’t want– at any price.
What do you say?
eWedNewz continues our investigation into a changing tuxedo rental business and a growing retail segment.
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