CHICAGO – Napoleon’s Tailor, a Milwaukee-based clothier with a national reputation for catering exclusively to men who are five-foot-eight and shorter, will mark its final day in Chicago on Dec. 23, its owner said today.
Gary Anders, who will continue to operate his flagship store of the same name in Milwaukee, announced in mid-October that industry trends and the prolonged economic slump were forces behind the decision to close the Chicago store.
“Even though 30 percent of U.S. men are five-foot-eight or under, Napoleon’s Tailor is one of only four clothiers in the entire country to serve shorter men. There should be far more stores of like Napoleon’s Tailor but fashion habits and other factors have worked against us as time has passed,” Anders said. “Unfortunately, the men’s clothing industry has been shrinking ever since Levi’s introduced casual Fridays.”
The store, located at 7254 W. Foster Ave., has been featured on the front page of the Wall Street Journal, on the CBS national news and by Reuters news service over the years. It had significantly marked down prices on its merchandise to liquidate the inventory during the sale. Prices have been marked down an additional 50 percent on all remaining merchandise this week.
Anders also said that moving apparel production off-shore has had serious consequences for specialty stores like Napoleon’s Tailor.
“Fifteen years ago when I entered the business, there were many apparel makers in the United States and Canada. They were willing to make production runs to meet our needs because they had excess capacity and were geared to smaller production cycles,” Anders said. “Today, factories in China, Pakistan, India or other places are geared to very high volume. We simply don’t do that volume and so we can’t get items in the quality and variety that we require. So, we’re being squeezed from both the supply and demand sides.”
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