How to Ensure your Retail Brand Responds Effectively to Change
Founded over 40 years ago, Friar Tux has been the go-to tux rental for generations of customers. Today, they operate over 30 stores in Southern California and Las Vegas, Nevada.
Their industry, like so many others, has undergone many changes. Yet they have been able to grow and thrive.
That is why I am excited to say that we have Greg Goodwin, the President of Friar Tux, on this episode of Tell Me Something Good About Retail.
In this episode, Greg gives us insight into the challenges and changes Friar Tux has faced in his 35 years there. Through those insights, I tease out some of the key factors that give them the ability to overcome these challenges.
Changes To Tux Industry
The changes that Greg and Friar Tux have endured are similar to what many others in retail have faced.
Changes in taste and style, with a move towards more casual wear. Meaning, people do not feel the need to rent that tuxedo as often.
Competition from retail giants that put more pressure on their business to be the best.
Outsourced clothing has changed the supply chain and therefore the way they are able to do business, while simultaneously bringing the cost of their goods down.
But what you notice about Friar Tux, is that they never wish these changes to go away. Instead, they focus on what they do well, they are accepting of the changes, and they are careful to watch for specific opportunities they can take advantage of.
Responding To These Changes
They focus on what they do well.
Outstanding service differentiates Friar Tux.
As any specialty retail brand should be, they are in tune with their customers. They ensure that every detail of their customer’s outfit is perfect for their special occasion. Those details that those big competitors don’t even think about.
They are accepting of change.
According to Greg, tux rental comprised “95% of everything that we did.” But not anymore.
With the price of clothing lowered and a shift to a more casual style, Friar Tux is much quicker to recommend purchasing a nice suit for an occasion, rather than renting a tux. It is all about what is right for the particular customer and is directly connected to the outstanding service they provide.
They are careful to watch for opportunities.
After realizing that many of their customers celebrated their weddings in Las Vegas, they opened a store there. This gave them the ability to provide better service and acquire customers from all over the country that they would have never had.
In fact, acquiring a platform that allowed them to capture customer feedback is what Greg notes as their best investment. That way, they can use that feedback to spot weaknesses and capitalize on those opportunities.
If what you read interests you, be sure to check out the rest of the episode, where Greg and I talk more about the tux industry, challenges with transferring management, and selling online.
If you are interested in Friar Tux, or in need of some formal wear for that special occasion, check out friartux.com and follow them on social media.