The Black Tux chief executive officer and cofounder Andrew Blackmon is busy to say the least. The men’s brand is set to have 15 showroom concepts open total at Nordstrom by June following March’s raise of a $30 million series C.
The growth will bring the business, which began as a digital direct-to-consumer brand aimed at the new generation of grooms and groomsmen, to markets such as Austin, Baltimore and Philadelphia after the business’ most recent additions in Southern California in Nordstrom’s Glendale and Topanga stores.
“It’s going very well,” said Blackmon, who started the business in 2013 with Patrick Coyne, of the Nordstrom partnership. “We have strong conversion rates. Our goals are really to drive awareness. So people who aren’t comfortable renting online, giving them an option to do [purchasing] in-store and then also provide a point of differentiation where customers can have a really good experience.”
The showrooms are often overbooked on appointments, the ceo added.
All of this is being aided with the company’s recently raised capital, which helped to expand The Black Tux’s logistics capacity via the opening of a 100,000-square-foot warehouse and dry-cleaning facility in Pennsylvania. The existing facility in Gardena, Calif., will continue to serve the company’s West Coast client base.
There’s real opportunity at Nordstrom, with Blackmon saying the business could expand into “quite a few over time,” but confirmed there is no set number of locations The Black Tux will open showrooms in at the department-store retailer.
The Black Tux also operates an expanding stable of showrooms, with six locations open. One upside with Nordstrom, Blackmon said, is the ease with which The Black Tux can erect itself there. That’s in contrast to the company-owned doors, which are more capital-intensive and require more time to open. Still, a few additional showrooms are planned for next year, with the first of those slated to open in Washington, D.C.
Nordstrom and the company’s showrooms are means of remaining in front of and expanding the customer base, the ceo said. The company is also focused on the fashion element in a bid to remain competitive and relevant in the marketplace, Blackmon added. He pointed to the company’s design team filled with former executives from J. Crew and Todd Snyder that’s rolling out rentable seasonal collections.
“Nobody is taking a fashion-forward or focused lens doing that,” Blackmon said, adding events have also helped tell a brand story, along with a 200-page guide for grooms that comes in a print and digital version.