SOUTHINGTON — Imagine a 30-foot box truck transformed into a mobile tuxedo store.
John Dominello, owner of Modern Formals, came up with the idea three years ago.
“It’s all about convenience and service,” Dominello said. “Like any good business, you have to adapt and evolve with the times.”
Along with the help of others, including his son Giancarlo, Dominello retrofitted the 30-foot box truck into a store. Hardwood floors and granite countertops were added along with a changing room, refrigerator, mannequins, displays and a stitch machine used to complete alterations.
The truck has proved popular with wedding parties.
“If it continues to go the way it is, eventually we are going to have to put another one on the road because it’s just so busy,” Dominello said.
Customers enjoy these types of services because it eliminates having to physically go to the shop but still allows them to touch and view the products in person, according to Kevin McEvoy, a University of Connecticut marketing professor.
“The good news is, they don’t have to go to the store and they don’t have any barriers that are created by online shopping,” McEvoy said. “Even in normal times, it’ll be nice to say that you don’t have to go anywhere and they can bring the stuff to you.”
Along with creating a mobile store, Modern Formals has also expanded the shop so it’ll impact more locations in Connecticut. This includes North Haven, Middletown and Southington.
Dominello’s brother, Sal and the managers at locations in North Haven, Middletown, Meriden and Southington — Chrissi Klingberg, Jenn Wasik and Anselmo Hernandez — take turns helping out with the mobile shop.
“It’s a longtime family business that has done a lot and they’ve expanded,” said Joseph Feest, Meriden’s economic development director. “Started here in Meriden and then expanded and people are looking at different ways they can take their businesses into mobile.”
Dominello’s father founded Modern Formals in 1950.
“At the back of the truck, there’s a big number 33,” Dominello said. “That’s the year my dad was born. So that was our touch to say ‘hey, you’re still apart of it.’”