LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — While this time of year is typically peak season for formal wear shops, the coronavirus pandemic has forced the cancellation of events across the Bluegrass.
Therefore, shops like Geno's Formal Affair in Lexington are seeing a dramatic drop in business.
"When you have events canceled like weddings and prom, you have no need for our product," Geno's Formal Affair Owner Gino Guarnieri said.
Guarnieri said Geno's typically rents out thousands of tuxedos a week during this time. However, that has changed since the coronavirus pandemic forced his stores to close.
"Once we closed, our sales went down to zero and stayed at zero since then," Guarnieri said.
As a result, he said he was forced to temporarily lay off all 66 of his employees.
"If our business activity was half of what it normally is, or even 40% of what it normally is, we can adjust for that," Guarnieri said. "But we don't even have that opportunity because our business activity is zero."
The closure has also caused a concern for making rent. However, Guarnieri said his landlord has been working with him to try and figure out how to make some rent payments.
In the meantime, Geno's is trying to drum up some business through virtual appointments. Grooms can use FaceTime or Zoom to see what is available in the store. According to Guarnieri, four grooms have utilized the service since it started about 10 days ago. After the appointment, grooms can send in their measurements and Geno's will assemble a tuxedo or suit and ship it to the groom's home for free.
Guarnieri said he wants everyone to be safe, and he is hopeful he can reopen soon.
"These are just difficult times and we're not the only people that are hurting," Guarnieri said. "Everybody is. We're really in this all together and we're going to get out of this thing all together."