Brotherly love: Mr. Sid

by Harry Sheff

At Mr. Sid, brothers Stuart and Barry Segal put their hearts and souls into the business.

2013UptownDowntownThis year marked Mr. Sid’s 45th anniversary and business is stronger than ever. “While every store has its challenges,” explains co-owner Stuart Segel, “we’ve been able to showcase menswear in a unique manner. We’ve created a certain ambiance. There’s a lot of heart and soul that goes into this.”

Stuart Segal and Barry SegalMr. Sid in Newton, Mass. is owned and operated by Stuart and his brother Barry Segel. They took over the business from their father and founder, Ira. Stuart started in 1989, when Ira opened a second location in Palm Beach and needed someone to run it. Stuart was preparing to take the law boards, but accepted his father’s offer and fell in love with the business. Barry always thought he might enter the family business, but took a job at TJX to get a taste of the corporate world. He joined Mr. Sid in 1996. When the Palm Beach lease ended in 2004, they closed its doors and now have the sole Massachusetts location.

Mr. Sid is not only a luxury lifestyle men’s store, but also a wine bar, hair salon and event space. 1211 is a new event space on the first floor, designed to expand their network. They’re working with other local businesses to cross promote and gain more awareness within the community. “For example, we just hosted a Bordeaux Night with a local high-end liquor store: we brought in their wine directors and we served French food. It was a small event (around 35 guests), but a great way to reach new people.”

The in-store events are a bit more significant. “We try to do 15 to 20 events a year with two to three bigger ones related to a charity. Just doing a trunk show doesn’t make a lot of sense to us. We want to give our events personality. Our last one was called ‘Memphis in May.’ It was a Gitman trunk show and we catered traditional BBQ. We had a blues band, craft beers and the store was packed! We did some good business that day and we gave a great experience to our customers.”

Mr. Sid

At Mr. Sid, made to measure is the driving force of their clothing business. New to MTM is a private label custom line, Sid Esquire, an opening price ($1,095 retail) collection of custom suits, shirts and pants. “We created Sid Esquire as a way to get the younger guy into custom. Sid Esquire is a slimmer, modern fit. We’re seeing slimmer fits come back in our overall suit business, too.” In sportswear, Stuart says denim continues to sell from brands like Koral and Earnest Sewn.

Mr. Sid is reaching younger consumers online, too. Barry elaborates, “Today, the younger guy is more educated. He’s learning about our heritage [online] and then coming into the store. Although I don’t think social media has taken off on the luxury side, you have to be in the game and interact with people, and it eventually will.”

Stuart and Barry are both family men. Stuart has a 13-year-old daughter Rachel and an 11-year-old son Matthew; Barry has a 3-and-a-half-year-old son named Jack. And of course, they’re big Boston sports fans. Barry is a Patriots season ticket holder, so it’s no surprise that some of the Patriots players are also customers. To launch a Randolph Engineering shop-in-shop they hosted an event with former Patriots offensive tackle Matt Light, and some of the proceeds from the evening benefited the Matt Light Foundation.

Mr. Sid at a Glance

  • Established in 1967 by Ira Segel
  • Location: Newton, Mass.
  • Size: 12,000 sq. ft.
  • Assortment: 100% men’s
  • Ratio: 80/20 branded/private label
  • Category breakdown: 55% clothing, 25% sportswear, 10% dress furnishings, 10% shoes, 5% accessories
  • Top vendors: Alden, Canali, Corneliani, Gran Sasso, Isaia, Paraboot, Samuelsohn, Scott James, Zegna