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Men’s Wearhouse Looks to New Markets for Growth

The Men's Wearhouse laid out its strategy to further build sales in 2007 by tapping new markets, such as dry cleaning.

SAN FRANCISCO — The Men’s Wearhouse laid out its strategy to further build sales in 2007 by tapping new markets, such as dry cleaning, where customers can learn about the retailer’s core men’s wear business.

Tying dry cleaning to new business is being tested in Houston where the company recently bought a dry-cleaning chain. Men’s Wearhouse stores become drop-off and pick-up points for same-day service, or dry cleaning can be picked up and delivered.

“One of the synergies we’re currently exploring is offering free dry cleaning for a year,” in the test market, George Zimmer, CEO and chairman, who founded the company in 1973, told the sparsely attended annual shareholders meeting here Wednesday.

Likewise, tapping new customers figures into the company’s purchase in April of After Hours tuxedo rental, with 500 locations, bringing to 1,267 the number of storefronts the company has in the U.S. and Canada. By 2008, the company’s goal is to offer “seamless” tuxedo rental throughout, said Neill Davis, executive vice-president and COO.

Recruiting new Men’s Wearhouse clientele is also behind expanding the company’s uniform business in its Twin Hills division, which has added new clients like US Air and Northwest Airlines, Davis said. The uniform division accounts for $20 million of the company’s $1.9 billion in sales for 2006.