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Q&A with George Zimmer, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Generation Tux

By Vivian Hendriksz


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Business |Interview

George Zimmer Credits: Generation Tux

Renting services have become mainstream in modern-day society, seeping into all sectors from staying in virtual strangers’ homes for vacation on Airbnb, to downloading and borrowing books on Kindle, to streaming tv-series on Netflix and listening to music via Spotify. Fashion is no different, with services ranging from Rent the Runway offering subscriptions to rent designer outfits to fast-fashion players Urban Outfitters (URBN) launching its own rental platform Nuuly. As rental services within the fashion industry continue to grow, one area remains particularly promising - occasion wear. With spring just around the corner, it brings the start of wedding season and the need for well-fitting, quality and stylish formal wear.

Seeking to bridge the gap, George Zimmer, entrepreneur and founder of Men’s Wearhouse launched Generation Tux, an online suit and tuxedo rental company in 2014. With more than 40 years of experience, Zimmer leveraged his insights and knowledge into the company to make renting a suit or formal wear online as smooth, easy and seamless as possible. Ten years after its successful launch, Generation Tux announced the opening of its first-ever showroom in Columbus, Ohio, as the company sought to leverage its offering into a new physical destination for consumers. Seeking to offer its consumer a new shopping experiences, while creating a hub to serve the local community, we spoke with Zimmer to learn more about Generation Tux’s debut store, the evolution of the company and his vision for the company’s expansion.

How does Generation Tux's approach to formalwear rental and its digital-first strategy reflect the changing demands of today's consumers?

Zimmer: “Generation Tux was built on a foundation of customer service that we like to call ‘high-tech and high-touch.’ Our focus has always been on providing the best experience to every customer. Our approach caters to today’s consumer, who values convenience, efficiency, and a personalized shopping experience. By leveraging technology, we've crafted a seamless, intuitive platform that meets the modern customer's needs for flexibility and style, making formalwear rental an enjoyable and hassle-free process.”

In what ways has this vision been instrumental in shaping the company's offerings and customer experiences?

Zimmer: “Thinking digital-first has really shaped what we offer and how we treat our customers. It's all about giving them what they want - ease, options, and personal touches, right from their screens to their front doors. This mindset helps us make sure every step is as seamless as possible for them.”

Generation Tux showroom in Columbus, OH Credits: Generation Tux

Generation Tux has transitioned from an online platform to opening its first-ever showroom in Columbus, OH. What prompted the decision to establish a physical presence, and what factors influenced Columbus being selected as the premiere site for this milestone?

Zimmer: “Columbus has been carefully chosen thanks to its vibrant culture and emerging prominence as a fashion destination. Our showroom's launch in Columbus comes at a pivotal time and embodies our commitment to deepening trust through face-to-face interactions and fostering genuine connections with our customers.”

With the rise of online retail, what unique experiences does the Generation Tux showroom offer that can't be replicated online?

Zimmer: “Our showrooms are a further extension of our ability to provide personalized service, offering a tangible space where our customers can not only try on our pieces from our extensive collection but also immerse themselves in a one-of-a-kind experience. Our brick-and-mortar locations serve as hubs for inspiration, where our knowledgeable staff are on hand to provide expert styling advice, tailor-made recommendations, and a level of service that goes beyond mere transactions.

In our showrooms, customers can touch, feel, and truly experience the quality and sophistication that define Generation Tux, creating memories and moments that extend far beyond the fitting room.”

Can you go into more detail about the proprietary fit technology that Generation Tux utilizes? How does it enhance the customer experience compared to traditional fitting methods?

Zimmer: “Our fit technology leads the way in innovation for formalwear rental. With over 40 years of real-world data and experience, we've crafted a personalized fitting process that delivers a garment tailored to each customer's ideal fit - just the way they want it. With easy inputs of height, weight, age, pants size, and shoe size, we’ve proven to generate a better fit than measurements taken at home or by a professional. This makes it easier for our customers to get a perfect fit, every time.”

The Look Builder and Color Recommendations features seem to be a game-changer for customers planning their attire for events. How do you envision these tools evolving to meet future fashion trends and customer needs?

Zimmer: “The Look Builder and Color Recommendations features are built on what we've learned from years of real talk with customers and our own hands-on experience. These tools are all about simplifying your decision-making for event attire. We're constantly fine-tuning them, and listening to our customers. This way, we stay sharp, making sure these features are not just up-to-date with the latest styles but also making your life easier when it comes to getting dressed up for any occasion.”

Generation Tux new showroom in Columbus Credits: Generation Tux

Sustainability and technology are significant trends in the fashion industry. How does Generation Tux incorporate these aspects into its business model and offerings?

Zimmer:“We embrace sustainability and technology by implementing eco-friendly practices in our operations and constantly updating our platform with the newest tech innovations. Our aim is to not only minimize our environmental footprint but also to offer a service that's cutting-edge, convenient, and aligned with the values of our customers.”

With plans to broaden its showroom footprint later this year, what strategy does Generation Tux have for its expansion? Can you share any insights into which cities or regions are being considered for future locations?

Zimmer: "We’ll be opening showrooms in Chicago, Washington D.C., Dallas, and Phoenix during the first half of the year. And we're not stopping there - more expansion plans are in the works!

Reflecting on your journey with both Men’s Wearhouse and Generation Tux, what are some of the key lessons have you learned about the fashion industry, and how have they influenced your approach with Generation Tux?

Zimmer: “One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned is the importance of putting the customer first, always. We have intentionally built our business around a high-tech / high-touch model that puts emphasis on meeting the modern consumer where they want to be met. And our world-class customer support and styling teams are at the ready for anyone who wants additional support.”

Generation Tux
George Zimmer
Men's Wearhouse