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VOL. 131 | NO. 15 | Thursday, January 21, 2016

Xedo Launches Memphis Distribution Center

By Andy Meek

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After setting up its U.S. headquarters and a 240,000-square-foot distribution facility in Memphis, as well as lining up a local tax incentive package in late 2014, a tuxedo company with an online rental platform has started taking its first orders.

Xedo, a tuxedo rental venture with an online platform which has its U.S. headquarters and a distribution facility in Memphis, started taking rental orders Jan. 1.

Xedo, a division of U.K.-based tuxedo rental company ACS, is a venture built around marrying convenience and technology with taste and high fashion. The company – which Xedo North America CEO Peter Abruzzo told The Daily News has wanted to expand into the U.S. for a while now – offers online rentals of affordable men’s designer formalwear delivered to customers’ doorsteps.

The company aims to take some of the stress out of things like dressing a wedding party, which comes with its attendant fitting sessions that have to be planned. Xedo says it has proprietary algorithms that minimize sizing errors and that ensure correct measurements for customers. But to make sure there’s plenty of time for free replacements if things don’t fit right, tuxes are shipped two weeks before the big day.

The company also offers a complimentary groom tux try-on months in advance so grooms can see how their threads look and feel in person before committing. Grooms also get their tuxedo free with a registered wedding party of five or more.

In addition to its distribution facility and corporate headquarters in Memphis, Xedo also has offices in Chicago and in Glasgow, Scotland.

“We considered many different cities across the country for our home base, but Memphis stood out among all the contenders for several key reasons,” Abruzzo said. “We felt that Memphis is an ideal marketplace for the various talents and specialties we seek in our employees, and this has proven to be true. The fact that FedEx is also based here is truly a perfect fit for the foundation of our business model, which is the ability to deliver formalwear overnight, coast-to-coast.”

ACS got a five-year tax break worth $1.1 million from the city-county Economic Development Growth Engine in October 2014 for its $14 million Memphis distribution facility at 4400 Quality Drive. When it received the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes benefit, ACS said it would create 125 jobs in the first two years. It also said it would add 200 more jobs within five years, which could then extend the five-year PILOT term to eight years.

Currently there are 36 Xedo employees in Memphis. Company officials expect several departments, including customer service and warehouse operations, to expand as orders increase over the next few months.

The company values the U.S. tuxedo rental market at $1.5 billion and that it plans to gain market share by using the knowledge and technologies from its established business in the U.K. Abruzzo said Xedo’s U.K.-based parent is among the largest formalwear providers in Europe.

Xedo’s inventory of fashions for events like weddings, proms and other special occasions include several designer collections and partnerships with top bridal and menswear names like Michael Kors and Mon Cheri. The company says a Daymond John collection will be launched this fall, in addition to other high-profile partnerships on the way.

The basic steps in Xedo’s customer process include first choosing from a pre-styled look or using the “Tux Builder” feature on the Xedo website, at xedo.com, to create a custom look. Once that’s done, a free home try-on can be arranged. Groomsmen can be added to an account; details like measurements for everyone and payment details, among other things, can also be added.

Tuxedos start at $95 for the jacket and pants. Packages range from $170 to $195 and include a jacket, pants, cummerbund or vest, neckwear, shirt, studs and cufflinks, pocket square, shoes and socks. Xedo also carries tuxedos in size 3 to 66.

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