Lack of proms, weddings continue to hurt Maple Shade, New Jersey tailor

MAPLE SHADE, New Jersey (WPVI) -- Richard Levin, of Rochester Formal Wear in Maple Shade, New Jersey, spent time Monday going through an array of new tuxedos his business ordered for the 2020 spring season full of proms, graduations, weddings and banquets.

"They're all for a season that never happened," said Levin.

He and his brother Stan were forced to close their business due to the pandemic on March 14.

They didn't know how long they would be closed, but they finally stopped changing the date on the calendar on April 7.

Levin's great-grandmother started the business in Camden 114 years ago. They got through the great depression, two World Wars and everything in between, but now, they have been closed for 69 days and counting..

Levin said they do 60% of their business between March and June. And its not only the tuxedo business taking a tremendous hit, it's all the other related businesses.

"From the servers, to the food, to the tuxedos, to the hairdressers, the makeup artists, the limousine companies," said Levin.

He feels the worst for the kids and their families who missed out on tradition and the rights of passage.

"The mothers would come in with the boys, and when they come out of the dressing room, they're crying just because their babies, their young kids, are going into the next step of life," Levin said.

He thinks it could take up to a year to recover, but by then he expects some businesses will not survive.

"It's just a matter of how quickly it comes back and hoping everybody stays healthy and we go back to what used to be normal," said Levin.


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