Tuxedo shop opens in former Calico Cat space in downtown Saline
Angela J. Cesere | AnnArbor.com
The Michigan Avenue shop, which specializes in tuxedo rentals and sales, celebrated its grand opening on Jan. 12. Perry, 35, calls it an "expansion" of Perry's Tuxedo, which his father has run in Adrian for 21 years.
Perry's venture is not exactly new, but the location is. He owned a formal wear store in Owosso, also Perry's Tuxedos, for two years or so, while also holding down a job at Hollywood Video. A promotion with that company came with a transfer to Jackson, his wife Jennifer's hometown, and it meant being closer to his dad, so he shut down the store. When Hollywood Video liquidated soon thereafter, Perry moved to Saline to be closer to his dad, David, and his wife's family.
Perry, the father of three young children, began working full time for a Livonia tuxedo supplier, a company he knew through his father. He worked there on and off for about 10 years, and eventually made another go of retailing. He left the company and opened Perry's Tuxedo Plus in the 1,600-square-foot space formerly occupied by the Calico Cat, which closed in August after its owners retired.
Aside from creating a partition to keep changing rooms and the stock room separate from the showroom, Perry's investment in renovations was negligible, he says.
At the moment, before prom and wedding season are in full swing, Perry is the sole employee of his store, but he may hire additional help as needed.
"It's such a roller coaster of a business, with winters being slow and summers being so busy," he said. "I might do what my dad does — hire a high school senior to work the busy season.''
Perry's store offers a "nobody beats my prices" guarantee. Tuxedo rental ranges from $70 to $125; the average purchase price of a tuxedo, depending on the brand, runs $250 to $700.
The Saline Chamber of Commerce is happy Perry chose Saline.
"His store complements the downtown very well," said Mary Alice Smith, project coordinator for the chamber. "He wants to make a success of it and has the experience to know what's going on.''
Julie Edgar is a freelance writer for AnnArbor.com.