Can you survive in a glamour business without glamour?

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

The glamour of it all. This line really is the heart of it:

While in New York recently, Mr. Zimmer said, he had his driver pull over when he spotted a Men’s Wearhouse store. After he used a restroom, he poked his head into the tailor shop. “As soon as the tailor saw me he embraced me and started sobbing,” Mr. Zimmer said. “I have a bond with tailors. It’s not because I’m a tailor myself but because they know I care about how they experience their jobs.”

This season is especially poignant for him. Of the 50 or so black-tie staff holiday parties thrown every year at Men’s Wearhouse stores around the country, he made a point of attending at least 15. When Mr. Zimmer ran the company, employees could rent a free tuxedo for the evening, but the perk no longer exists.

“I know they miss me at the holiday parties as much as I miss going to them,” he said.

The merger “is a tragedy for the employees,” he added. “They’ve lost the glamour of it all.”

Why do men wear suits? The suits have no utilitarian function. Plumbers and electricians do important work, but they don’t wear suits at work. We wear suits for functions that have a certain amount of glamour attached to them. Can a business survive when it caters to those who want glamour, but the business itself is devoid of glamour?

This is a strong case against this kind of finance run business.

Source