Al's Formal Wear
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Al's Formal Wear was founded in Fort Worth. It has since expanded across many states, and is currently headquartered in Houston. Over the years, Sankary experimented with different concepts, including bridal stores, mall kiosks, manufacturing formal lines himself, uniform sourcing for the military, and cleaning. He believed strongly in vertical integration; from manufacturing formal wear to retail renting to cleaning and then back on the rack.
In 1957, Sankary brought in his sister, Lillian and her husband, Alan Gaylor, into the business. Since that time it has grown to over 100 locations in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Colorado, Mississippi and Oklahoma. Today Al's Formal Wear is a family-owned business, with Alan Gaylor’s son Stuart as company president.
The company stocks over 50 styles of tuxedos for rental, including designer names such as Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein. The company also carries a wide variety of formal wear and accessories for retail purchase, as well as career apparel for occupations needing formal dress.
Al's Formal Wear fills orders for weddings, high school proms, quinceaneras and other events from its distribution centers.
Alan Gaylor and Al Sankary divided the business in 1978, with Gaylor maintaining ownership of the Al's Formal Wear operations based in Houston, while Sankary owned the operations based in the Dallas area. This division occasionally led to some customer confusion, but persisted until 1999, when Gaylor's Al's Formal Wear of Houston bought the Dallas operation from Sankary. At this point, the combined business included approximately 120 Al's Formal Wear, Ascot Tuxedos, and BridesMart locations in Texas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. By 2006, some consolidation and the spinoff of the bridal division reduced the number of tuxedo stores to between 90 and 100. After the purchase of Mr. Neat’s Formalwear of Colorado, and an expansion into Arkansas and MIssissippi, Al’s Formal Wear now encompasses six states with over 100 stores.
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