Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. fired the first salvo of 2010 against its rival, The Men’s Wearhouse Inc., revealing Wednesday that it will enter the tuxedo rental business.
The Hampstead, Md.-based Jos. A. Bank will dip its toe into the business this month with a test initiative in about 5 percent of its doors. The business will then be expanded to more than half the firm’s 474 stores this spring.
“Our customers have asked us for this service,” said R. Neal Black, president and chief executive officer. “Although we are a national leader in the sales of tuxedos, we have not offered the specific formalwear products and services that are most commonly used by wedding parties and these products complete our formal assortment. We are continually looking for ways to expand sales and offer our customers ‘one-stop’ shopping. There are very few national companies in this business and with over 4.9 million customers in our database, this business offers a significant opportunity for the company.”
The most significant competitor is Men’s Wearhouse, which has been aggressively pursuing tuxedo rentals for several years, a move that culminated in the purchase of the After Hours formalwear chain in 2007. The tuxedo rental business has proven to be a lucrative one for the retailer, representing 21.1 percent of the company’s sales of $462 million in the fiscal third quarter, ended Oct. 31. In its third-quarter conference call in December, Men’s Wearhouse said it had rented three million tuxedos in 2009. It offers tuxedo rentals at its Men’s Wearhouse, Moores, K&G and Tux (formerly After Hours) stores.
Black said he believes rentals can reach the same level of performance at Jos. A. Bank in the future. “I don’t see any reason why it couldn’t be just as big,” he said, noting there’s room for “another big national player even without taking market share from them.”
One difference between the approach of Men’s Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank is that the latter has “partnered with a national distributor who will own the inventory and deliver the orders to our stores, thus reducing the required investment and risk associated with starting up a new operation,” said David Ullman, chief financial officer of Jos. A. Bank. “With this structure, we expect that the incremental sales volume will add to the operating margins of the stores segment, although the gross profit rate will be lower than we achieve with our merchandise sales. Also, the tuxedo rental business has the potential to generate significantly higher gross margins if we choose to invest in our own infrastructure in the future.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)