It’s been a busy year for George Zimmer, the man best known for launching Men’s Wearhouse in 1973.
Earlier this year, Zimmer–who was ousted as the CEO and executive chairman of Men’s Wearhouse in 2013–launched zTailors, a service that dispatches tailors to your home or office on demand. Tomorrow, at Dreamforce, he’s launching another company, Generation Tux, that allows men to order suits and tuxes online. Generation Tux customers will have access to the network of tailors through zTailors who will be on hand to make adjustments, if necessary. There are 17 different suit styles available, and they each cost a flat rate of $95 to rent. You can rent an entire outfit, including shirts, shoes, ties, and cuff links, for $150.
While the Generation Tux website just went live last night, Zimmer and his team have been testing the site in beta with customers for several months. “It works, thank God,” he says.
Zimmer tells Fast Company that he has a twofold approach to differentiating Generation Tux from his competitors. The first is in scale. Zimmer has raised $50 million across two financings, with principal investors that include Dave Duffield, Lyrical Partners, and Meritage. Zimmer says that Salesforce Ventures has also become a full partner in the business.
This influx of capital has gone toward establishing infrastructure for the business, including a distribution center in Louisville, Kentucky, that houses 30,000 suits and a dry-cleaning facility to ensure a quick turnaround. “We’re ready to ship in quantity without ever having to put up a sign that says, ‘We’re sorry, we’re out of this style,'” Zimmer says.
But Zimmer is also hoping to set Generation Tux apart by investing heavily in technology. “The most difficult part of building this business was designing and coding the website,” he says. The site comes with a lot of bells and whistles, including a visualizer that allows customers to put different merchandise on a mannequin, and a wedding management tool to allow brides and grooms to see where each groomsman is in the tux rental process. Once a customer has input their measurements online, tailors at the warehouse will adjust each suit or tux before it is delivered. For additional alterations, zTailors will be deployed to ensure a perfect fit.
Launching Generation Tux at Dreamforce seems like an unusual move for a clothing e-commerce company. But Zimmer explains that this decision makes a lot of sense: “We really think of ourselves as much as a technology company as we do a tuxedo rental business.” Mark Benioff, a friend of Zimmer’s, has been a big supporter of the company, both by investing in it as well as by providing guidance about the technological aspects of the business. Zimmer explains that the Generation Tux platform has been outfitted end to end with Salesforce technology. At Dreamforce, the company will be used as a case study about what can be done with Salesforce tools.