NEW YORK — The May Department Stores Co. has walked down the aisle once again, expanding its wedding apparel portfolio with the acquisition of Desmonds Formalwear for an undisclosed cash sum.
Desmonds, with annual revenues of about $20 million, rents and sells tuxedos through 66 stores in 10 states throughout the Midwest, including the major markets of Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City and May’s home turf of St. Louis.
May, owner of the Lord & Taylor, Filene’s and Kaufmann’s nameplates, among others, said it will operate the Desmonds stores as part of its After Hours Formalwear unit within May’s bridal group, which includes David’s Bridal, Priscilla of Boston, After Hours and Modern Tuxedo. The properties have all been purchased during the past three years.
“Desmonds represents an important expansion of our tuxedo rental and sales business, moving our market reach west of the Mississippi River for the first time,” said May chief executive officer Gene Kahn in a statement. “Through our bridal group businesses and our department store wedding registries, we continue to build one of the most integrated bridal businesses in the nation.”
Although May would not disclose the purchase price, a company spokeswoman said the figure was not material.
John Desmond, owner and operator of Desmonds, currently based in La Crosse, Wis., will act as a consultant to May’s bridal group.
May currently operates 193 David’s Bridal units, 331 After Hours Formalwear stores and 10 Priscilla of Boston shops. In the fiscal year ended Feb. 1, the Philadelphia-based bridal group generated sales of $508 million, as its more than 2.2 million square feet of space averaged sales per square foot of $244, 13 percent above the median in the prior year. Its department stores saw sales per square foot decline to $174 from $185 last year.