by Karen Alberg Grossman

If you haven’t already gotten your copy of MR Magazine’s January 2023 issue, never fear! We’ll be posting every article right here on over the next week or so. You’ll also be able to pick up a copy at most of the menswear trade shows coming up in January, but be sure that we have your name on our mailing list for future issues by completing the form at the link here.

OFTEN A NEGLECTED CATEGORY in even the finest menswear stores, non-apparel gifts inspire impulse purchasing, thus providing volume, profit, and lots of year-round buzz for smart retailers who nurture this business. Gifts can be tabletop, gadgets, leather goods, jewelry, art, antiques, hand-crafted goods, writing implements, picture frames, grooming products, and even foodstuffs. With no dealing in sizes, return rates are notably lower than for apparel.

Ted Silver from Weiss & Goldring in Alexandria, La., was an early adopter and is famous for selling all manner of gifts from Baccarat crystal to specialty foods. Miller Brothers in Atlanta believes so strongly in the category that they’ve opened a separate gift store.

Greg Miller (who owns both stores with his brother Robby; his daughter Madison and nephew Cole have recently joined the team, bringing a next-generation perspective) explains how it evolved. “I always loved clothes and always worked in the business: Oxxford, Mark Shale, and Barneys. Robby worked 10 years at H. Stockton. We never thought we’d own a store. We rented space in a showroom and did lots of home and office visits. But 17 years ago, we had the opportunity to buy the building we’re in now. Thanks to the amazing clientele in Buckhead, business is thriving. We’re up 38 percent this year over a record 2021. Our menswear mix is now 40 percent tailored, 60 percent sportswear.”

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Above and top: Miller Brothers in Atlanta has added a separate, nearby store just for gifts. The goal is to feature a curated mix of interesting product not available everywhere else!

Greg continues to explain that, because the main store is small (1,450 square feet of selling space), they never had enough room for gifts. But this past November, an 1,800-square-foot space opened up in the one spot they really wanted, 100 yards from the main store.

“Business has been amazing since Day 1,” says Miller. “The new store focus is on eclectic, always evolving product that you can’t find anywhere else.” Early assortments feature antiques, coffee-table books, candles, cutting boards from Provence, umbrellas, Native American jewelry, unique handmade jewelry, locally crafted handbags, even high-end cast-iron skillets, and a great collection of antique bourbon decanters. Greg proudly notes that he just sold an old painted metal Rolling Stones sign.

As it’s been said, “It’s not just a gift; it’s giving your soul a lift.” And there’s no time like the present.


One Reply to “GIFTED!”

  1. Too many late to the game, but good on you guys and gals to embrace it and celebrate it! Wishing you the best of luck. So many flex options, no expiration dates, holiday by holiday. Great!

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