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Men's Wearhouse founder creates second act onlineGeorge Zimmer is back with an online suit rental service called Generation Tux. We talk to him about how he brought together high-tech and high-touch with his new startup.
[MUSIC] This is Ben Fox Rubin with CNET. George Zimmer started the suit retailer, Men's Warehouse, more than 40 years ago. But he was fired in 2013 amid disagreements with the board. He's now back with a new company that offers tuxedo and suit rentals online called Generation Tux. He's here to talk to us today about the startup which he introduced just last week. So George, tell me a little bit about what the response has been so far about the introduction of this new company. Well I think everybody is just waiting For online tuxedo rental. Because up until online tux rental, you had to make three trips into a store to rent a tux. One, to go in and pick it out, a second to get it fitted, and a third to return it. So today, you can do it from your living room. So what's the What's the reason for actually wanting to do this? You founded and helped run a successful company for more than 40 years. You're 66 years old, a lot of people retire at that point. What's the reason for actually going ahead with this in the first place? Well, as you said, I started Men's Warehouse is '73. And after a quarter of a century, I went into the tuxedo rental business, at Men's in '99. And over the 13 years that I was there, built it into a 400 million dollar plus business. It's also much more profitable than selling regular clothing. So I decided to just have an online tux rental business and it's going to be extremely successful and profitable. Is it at all personal though? Well, I mean people wanna know if there's any revenge, not really, it's really, we're too busy trying to create what we have to worry about them. You know, they are in the same business so I guess there will be some impact but that's not what we're looking for. You were known pretty well for a signature line with Men's Warehouse. Is there going to be a signature line with Generation Tux?>>Well, we've not been able to trademark one in the 40 years since my first one. It's become much more difficult to get a trademark. But a line that I'm starting to look for Is something like Gentux we got you covered. Nice one other question I also had was is it different creating a business online? We were talking a little bit before about how you're a bit of a tech Luddite with Men's Warehouse, they're not exactly doing a lot in online these days so what's that been like for you? Well it's been about hiring the right people and combining high tech and high touch. My domain expertise in tuxedo rental with the technology that is now been first promoted by Uber but is now Spreading everywhere as where we're able to make everything more efficient by matching supply and demand with technology. Is that right? I understand at one point you were involved in something else? Well I have been involved in a number of things. But the really the thing I think most people didn't realize was that I've always been involve in the beer business. In fact, I don't drink beer. But if I did, I drink those sake. Stay thirsty, my friends. Very good choice. Thanks for coming on. And this is Ben Rubin. Thanks for watching. [MUSIC]