Here's How One Ousted Founder Will Get His Revenge

Here's How One Ousted Founder Will Get His Revenge
Image credit: George Zimmer | Facebook
2 min read
This story originally appeared on Fortune Magazine

Revenge is a dish best served cold. Or in the case of an ousted founder of a men’s specialty retailer, a smartphone app will do.

Men’s Wearhouse founder George Zimmer has unveiled his new company, called zTailors, a website and app that helps connect customers with on-demand tailors who make house calls. Like many startups these days, Zimmer told The New York Times his new business is the “Uber for tailors.”

Here’s how it works: shoppers schedule a fitting at their home or office and a tailor with at least five years experience will show up to consult and tailor both men’s and women’s clothing. Orders are delivered with a week and if unsatisfied, zTailors will offer complimentary adjustments.

Zimmer was well known to the public for appearing in many Men’s Wearhouse ads in which he guaranteed that customers would like the way they look. But the retailer ousted Zimmer from his position as executive chairman in 2013, issuing a terse statement at the time.

When he spoke with Fortune several months after his ouster, Zimmer said he was “almost 100% certain” he wouldn’t be CEO of a public company after leaving Men’s Wearhouse. But he did see himself in more of a “behind-the-scenes role.”

His role at zTailors is more active than that. He is reportedly the financial force behind the company, telling the Times that no venture capitalists are involved. The startup, which has 600 tailors signed up, plans to operate across the nation by the end of the year. The lack of involvement from venture capitalists is also an interesting twist: Fortune reported earlier this year that Zimmer had pitched investors on an e-commerce tuxedo rental business. His new startup, zTailors, is a different business model.

Retail founders and top executives can discover a second (or third) career renaissance by moving into the startup world. Some recent announcements include apparel and retail chain Kit and Ace, which is backed by yoga gear maker Lululemon’s founder and e-commerce website Enjoy, which is run by ex-J.C. Penney CEO Ron Johnson.

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