It's a store-closing mystery that's left hundreds of Midwestern grooms and groomsmen in the lurch.
President Tuxedo, a popular tuxedo rental chain, has apparently shut down without warning after taking money from bridal parties.
Emily Waters of Fairfield, Ohio, is scrambling to re-plan her August wedding due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
When she recently checked on the eight tuxedos ordered for the wedding party, "either it keeps just ringing and ringing and there is just a voice mail, or it says user busy."
The store had taken roughly $200 from each groomsman.
"Overall it's around $1,700 in total they have," she said.
We stopped by the Northgate Mall store in Colerain Township and found the doors locked tight, with a paper sign on the door stating the store was "temporarily" closed due to the pandemic.
Several other Cincinnati-area customers told us they have been calling, emailing and visiting the store for weeks. So far, they have received no answers.
Other stores also closed
Sean Barth of Independence, Kentucky, also rented tuxes for his wedding from President Tuxedo's Florence store.
But when he stopped by that store, he found it locked tight with mail piling up in the doorway.
"They are not returning phone calls," he said. "We found a corporate number, called them. They are not returning messages. We sent emails and got no correspondence back."
Dozens of brides and grooms all over Ohio, Indiana, Michigan and Kentucky are posting the same complaints on the chain's Facebook page.
We tried to call and email the 20-store chain's Sterling Heights, Michigan headquarters, but got no reply.
And we got bad news from the Better Business Bureau, which has posted "this company is no longer in business."
News reports from Toledo, Ohio say the chain defaulted on its lease there due to non-payment of rent.
Many bridal vendors — from venues to caterers — are closing up shop as a result of the pandemic and the accompanying plunge in business. However, most are refunding money.
"Brides are already dealing with so much, planning a wedding in 2020 during a pandemic," Waters said. "So to just leave us high and dry without any information, whether they went out of business or just couldn't meet their end of the deal, I would appreciate some sort of communication."
We will continue to try to track down President Tuxedo.
If this happens to you, your best bet is to dispute the charge through your bank or credit card, and contact your state attorney general, so you don't waste your money.
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